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Wildfire smoke rises from hills behind the village of Numeralla in New South Wales state on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. Wildfires raged across much of southeast Australia. (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk)

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.