Thanks to the tireless work of hundreds of firefighters, millions of dollars in relief effort, and a fortunate heavy rainstorm, the fires that have devastated the Australian region of New South Wales are finally coming 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, which is great news," NSW Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said in a video update Thursday.
The fires had destroyed approximately 13.3 million acres in the countryside and is responsible for 17 deaths, around 500 destroyed homes, and the death of millions of animals.
"Not all fires are out," Rogers added, noting that some fires are burning in the state's far south. "But all fires are contained, so we can really focus on helping people rebuild."
The heavy rains have helped combat the fires but they've also created flooding and made the area difficult for rescue workers to traverse.
"Months of drought, searing heat and flames have given way to torrents of rain along much of eastern Australia in the last week," NPR's Nathan Rott reports from Bateman's Bay, Australia. He adds, "Flooding and mudslides have been reported in Queensland and New South Wales."
The rain has also had another blessing. The first green growths have popped out from the blackened and scorched landscapes. "While fire is still an issue, mother nature is already slowly starting to regenerate in some areas," the agency said.