Downpour dramatically improves air quality in Melbourne
MELBOURNE, Australia (KYMA, KECY/NBC News) - Heavy rainstorms swept over parts of Australia's Victoria state on Wednesday bringing relief to the fire-ravaged area.
Melbourne has been shrouded in smokey haze from the devastating wildfires that have been burning for weeks.
One of Australia's senior meteorologists says he's optimistic the rain will continue for the next several days.
"One thing from a weather perspective that the Bureau of Meteorology is looking at closely is this low-pressure trough morphing into a low-pressure system producing much more widespread rain. So quite optimistic that come Sunday, Monday, instead of just showers and storm activity which can be hit and miss, we'll see wider areas of the (Victoria) state receiving much useful rainfall." says meteorologist Kevin Park.
In Sydney, officials deployed booms and silt curtains to safeguard the city's water supply from the ash washing in from burning forests.
Australia's unprecedented bushfires have killed 28 people since September. They've destroyed more than 2,600 homes, and charred more than 2.5 million acres of land in New South Wales.
Tens of thousands of animals have also been either killed or injured.
Australian Defense Force soldiers dropped hay bales Wednesday on remote farms on fire-devastated Kangaroo Island. Blazes have destroyed most of the island's pasture land leaving livestock nowhere to graze.