For the first time in over 240 days, the Australian state of New South Wales is free from bushfires.
The region's local fire service said on February 13 that all fires in the state had been contained, according to CNN, and added on Monday that there were “currently no active bush or grass fires.”
For the first time since early July 2019, there is currently no active bush or grass fires in #NSW. That’s more than 240 days of fire activity for the state. #nswfires #nswrfs pic.twitter.com/NpjF3lAHKa— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) March 2, 2020
This marked the first break from fires since early July 2019.
Downpours of torrential rain brought relief to the heaviest-hit state in the country. Now, all bushfires have been extinguished in New South Wales.
One weekend in February, rains helped extinguish more than 30 fires, with fire service workers calling the event the "most positive news we've had in some time."
Despite alleviating much of the bushfires, the rain also brought about evacuations of several towns near New South Wales and school closures due to flooding.
Firefighters described the past season of bushfires as "very traumatic, exhausting, and anxious," according to the CNN report.
The fire service's deputy commissioner Rob Rogers lamented the travesty that was the past bushfire season, calling it "a truly devastating fire season for both firefighters and residents, who've suffered through so much this season."
Bushfires are a fact of life during Australia's summer fire season, but months of extreme heat and a severe drought led to one of the worst fire seasons the country has ever faced.
Every state in Australia saw fires this season, but New South Wales was hit the hardest, with air quality measuring 11 times the "hazardous" level due to smoke in the air.
Notable World Heritage Areas were damaged by this season's severe fires, such as the Blue Mountains and the Gondwana rainforests in Queensland and New South Wales.