A firefighter near Mangrove Mountain, north of Sydney. - Rick Rycroft / AP / SIPA
For almost three months, he had been out of control. In Australia, firefighters announced Monday that they have managed to control the largest "mega-fire" in the country while raindrops are expected.
To the north-west of Sydney, the fire soldiers of the State of New South Wales explained that they had finally taken the upper hand in their fight against the immense blaze which ravaged the mountainous area of Gospers. On a visit to the area on Monday, rural New South Wales fire chief Shane Fitzsimmons said "there is still a small area to be done" but "the confinement prognosis looks promising" .
"All the gifts" gathered in a few drops of rain
In this national park, this "mega-fire" ravaged an area three times larger than Greater London and generated other foci, bringing to 800,000 the total number of hectares destroyed, an area larger than Austria . As residents and authorities continue to cope with the scale of the disaster on Monday, meteorological services have announced up to 50 millimeters of rain for next week in some affected areas, relief after months of prolonged drought.
If these forecasts are confirmed, it will represent "all of our Christmas, birthday, engagement, anniversary and graduation gifts combined into one." Fingers crossed, "said Shane Fitzsimmons. Dozens of other fires have already been brought under control. Linked to a particularly severe drought in Australia, these fires are aggravated by global warming. They have generated a huge surge of solidarity across the planet and donations are pouring in to help the inhabitants and the animals affected.
A charity gala in Sydney
Australian flora and fauna, which are unique in the world, have been badly affected. An estimated one billion animals have been killed, not counting the multitude of trees and shrubs that have gone up in smoke. Environment Minister Sussan Ley has warned that in some regions koalas will have to be classified as endangered.
This weekend, Sydney will host a charity gala for the benefit of firefighting, Red Cross and wildlife services. Headliners such as the American hard rock singer, Alice Cooper, the British actress and singer Olivia Newton-John and the rock group Queen are expected.
Fires in Australia: Petition calls for koala to be brought to New Zealand for survival
Australia: Siemens maintains participation in controversial mining project since fires started