Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Heavy rainstorms in Australia were a major help to firefighters Friday, officials said -- cutting the number of wildfires in New South Wales by a third in just one day.
There are still about 40 active fires in the region, but Friday's weather added floods and landslides to the mix.
"The rain is good for business and farms as well as being really good for quenching some of these fires we've been dealing with for many, many months," NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.
"We don't want to see lots of widespread damage and disruption from flooding, but it is certainly a welcome change to the relentless campaign of hot, dry weather."
The commissioner said 17 of the fires are "uncontained," but more rain in the forecast next week should give fire crews more help. Sydney and other coastal areas in New South Wales are expected to receive their largest rainfall totals in more than three years.
Sydney's Warragamba Dam received nearly four inches of rain Friday and the Bureau of Meteorology predicted nearly 8 inches through the weekend.