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In this photo provided by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service a wildfire near Deans Gap, Australia, crosses the Princes Highway Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. Firefighters are battling scores of wildfires in southeastern Australia as authorities evacuate national parks and warned that hot, dry and windy conditions were combining to raise the threat to its highest alert level. (AP Photo/NSW Rural Fire Service, James Morris)

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.