SCORCHED bushfire zones on both sides of the border are set for a late summer drenching.
Weary firefighters who have been tackling blazes in the Upper Murray since last month will be given a reprieve with severe thunderstorms forecast for North-East Victoria for the next two days.
Fire chiefs in the southern Riverina and North-East Victoria have pulled back crews from fire grounds due to the heightened risk of falling trees from forecast heavy rain.
The possible storms could also be slow moving and lead to flash flooding.
NSW Rural Fire Service southern district co-ordinator Andrew Gray said it was too dangerous for crews to go into fire zones, but patrols would be maintained.
"We're not going onto the fire ground due to the risk of falling timber on our crews," he said.
"Any help mother nature can give us, like rain, to cool down any residual heat in the ground will be of benefit.
"We did a risk assessment and couldn't put our crews in there with that high risk potential."
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Mr Gray said there was no active fire edge and guarding against any burning logs coming out of the hill country into private property was the major focus, particularly on the Jingellic-Holbrook Road side.
Hume regional controller Neil Payn said firefighting efforts would be scaled back with forecast favourable weather this week.
A humid week ahead with muggy nights and showery afternoons. The highest rainfall is expected over eastern #Victoria, where afternoon storms are possible. Check forecasts at: https://t.co/jm3EirgRgu and observations at https://t.co/P0wzPLn8T8#VicWeatherpic.twitter.com/PXAiSzPVdi— Bureau of Meteorology, Victoria (@BOM_Vic) February 10, 2020
The Upper Murray and Abbeyard fires were listed as contained in recent days.
"We will obviously be doing risk assessments because we don't want them sloshing around in rain while they are firefighting," Mr Payn said.
"From a fire weather point of view we've got a fairly benign week coming up.
"But we won't be out of the woods until the end of summer."
The fire threat began to ease last month with January monthly totals this year in many locations exceeding those from 2019.
They included Wangaratta which had 29.6mm last month compared to only 11mm in January last year.
Corowa had 49.2mm compared to 11mm last year, Yarrawonga had 54.2mm compared to only 7mm and Culcairn 49.6mm compared to 14.6mm.