Australian 'megablaze' brought under control

Exhausted firefighters said they had finally brought Australia's largest 'megablaze' under control on Monday, as wet weather promised to deliver much-needed respite for countryside ravaged by bushfires.

New South Wales firefighters said they finally had the upper hand in the fight against the vast Gospers Mountain fire on Sydney's northwestern outskirts, which has been burning out of control for almost three months.

Visiting the area on Monday, New South Wales Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said there was a "small area of burning still to complete" but the "containment prognosis looks promising."

The fire seared an area of national park three times the size of Greater London and lit several connected blazes totalling over 800,000 hectares -- an area larger than Austria.

As residents and authorities continued to come to grips with the sheer scale of the devastation, the Bureau of Meteorology forecast some firegrounds could get up to 50 millimetres (two inches) of rain in the next week, a relief after a prolonged drought.