SYDNEY, Australia — Wildfires that began in September, consumed millions of acres of forest and burned through beachside towns and suburbs are finally out in most of New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, emergency services said Friday.
Some fires in the southern part of the state still haven’t been extinguished, said Rob Rogers, the deputy commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service, but they are under control.
“All fires are contained, so we can really focus on helping people rebuild,” Mr. Rogers said in a video posted on Twitter.
Fires continue to trouble firefighters in the southeastern state of Victoria, officials said. But torrential rain that has swept much of the eastern coast of Australia over the past week has helped put out many of the last few blazes remaining from a summer of unprecedented fires that obliterated towns, killed as many as half a billion animals and led to the deaths of 11 firefighters, including three Americans.
The fires are not the only extreme weather the country has experienced in the past few months, as giant storms pelted Sydney, Melbourne and the capital, Canberra, with hail the size of baseballs.
Rain over the past week has caused flash flooding in areas unused to such downpours, with one of Sydney’s main dams recording an increase in water of around 18 percent in under two days.
These record rainfalls across the eastern side of the country have also brought some farmers relief after a long season of drought. The Hunter Valley, renowned for its vineyards, had its driest year in 101 years in 2019. One winemaker said the recent rainfall brought six inches of rain, which replenished the farm’s dams.
The overall death toll from the bush fires now exceeds 30, with more than 2,500 homes destroyed.