Warning over dangers of much-needed rain

Rain forecast for bushfire-hit New South Wales will bring with it the risk of landslips and flash flooding, the sate's emergency service warns.

Australia has been battling its worst bushfire season on record since September last year, with fires killing 29 people and millions of animals, and destroying over 2500 homes while razing more than 10 million hectares of land.

Firefighters hope the rain will help douse the 88 fires still burning across NSW.

"Some rainfall has started falling across a number of firegrounds. We have everything crossed hoping for some good falls across these areas over the coming days," the NSW Rural Fire Service tweeted.

Most of NSW was expected to get rain from Thursday, except for the west and southwest, with the falls to continue into Monday.

Areas around the South Coast and Southern Tablelands were predicted to receive up to 30mm but the Bureau of Meteorology said the rain would be patchy and exact falls were difficult to predict.

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) said this could bring on the risk of flash flooding, falling trees and landslips after fire wiped out trees and growth.

"While the rain is welcomed, heavy rainfall and storms in fire affected areas can lead to dangerous conditions such as a higher risk of flash flooding, falling trees and landslips," NSW SES assistant commissioner Paul Bailey said.

"In areas impacted by fires where vegetation has been destroyed, water from heavy rainfall can flow into riverbeds and we could see run-off in areas we wouldn't normally, resulting in flash flooding.

"The NSW SES is also asking residents in fire affected areas to watch for possible landslips as the ground and roads can be damaged, therefore creating a higher risk of a potential slip."

The SES warned residents to prepare their properties but trimming overhanging branches, cleaning gutters and pipes, securing loose items in their backyards and not parking under trees or powerlines.

The wet weather brought some respite from the smoke haze that has also plagued other major cities for weeks and been tracked by NASA circumnavigating the globe.

Still, Canberra and Melbourne ranked among the top 30 most polluted major cities worldwide.

Fire and weather officials have also warned the current cool and wet weather change will only be a temporary relief, with the hot weather forecast to return in coming weeks.

- AAP and Reuters 

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