It’s hard to imagine a more extreme contrast — bushland in the Clarence Valley that was burnt to a blackened crisp just months ago is now inundated with floodwaters.
Locals in the town of Glenreagh, north of Coffs Harbour, say you can almost hear the scarred land let out a sigh of relief.
Last November the Liberation Trail fire wiped out homes in the nearby town of Nana Glen and came within inches of properties in Glenreagh.
The inferno covered 150,000 hectares with large swathes of bushland reduced to ash.
But locals’ wishes for rain have finally been heard and around 105 millimetres has fallen in the past 24 hours.
“We all waited and prayed for it — and we got it,” owner of the Glenreagh store, Leanne Bernard said.
“It’s lovely to hear the flowing and gushing, it’s really lifted people’s spirits.”
The dramatic deluge, which is expected to continue over the weekend, is already bringing green back to the land.
It’s also a reminder of Mother Nature’s ‘all or nothing’ ethos — not long ago local dams are cracked dry, now the nearby Orara River is flooding.
“I guess people around here just take as it comes,” Ms Bernard said.
But Kay Caley, who lives just north of Glenreagh in Kremnos, said she was happy to get “as much rain as [Mother Nature will] let me have”.
“The rain is fantastic, it has saved us,” she said.
The cattle farmer said it had been a long time since she felt this confident.
She hoped more of bushfire-ravaged NSW could also get the deluge, after battling blazes for months.
“I do feel sorry for the people on the South Coast though, I hope they get the rain too.”