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In this photo provided by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, plumes of smoke rise from a fire near Cooma, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. Temperatures across much of New South Wales state are expected to reach 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) causing extreme conditions. (AP Photo/New South Wales Rural Fire Service) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Wildfires ravage Australia

Record temperatures across southern Australia

cooled at the end of the week, reducing the danger from scores of raging wildfires

but likely bringing only a brief reprieve from the summer's extreme heat

and fire risk.