Australia’s Black Summer Hopefully at an End!

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Wildfires destroyed around two-thirds of the homes in Nerrigundah, New South Wales. (AP Photo / Sam McNeil)

All of the Fires in Australia’s Most Populous State Are ‘Now Contained,’ Authorities Say

by Brigit Katz/Smithsonianmag.com

It has been called Australia’s “black summer”—nearly six months of devastating bushfires that raged across the country, burning through more than 11 million hectares of land, causing the deaths of at least 33 people, and killing an estimated one billion animals. But on Thursday, fire officials took to Twitter with some good news: After days of heavy rain, all of the fires burning in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, are now under control.

“After what’s been a truly devastating fire season for both firefighters and residents who suffered through so much this season, all fires are now contained in New South Wales,” said NSW Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers in the video update. “[W]hich is great news.”

Some fires continue to burn in the southern part of the state, Rogers noted, but are classified as contained.

New South Wales has been particularly hard-hit by the conflagrations. Two blazes alone, the Currowan and Gospers Mountain fires, each tore through some 500,000 hectares of land there, according to BBC NewsHeavy downpours that began last week helped stamp out the Currowan fire, …

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