CANBERRA - Bushfires killed one and threatened a major Australian alpine resort on Thursday as firefighters prepared to face three days of searing temperatures and high winds expected to fan flames across two states.

Fire crews discovered a body in a gutted house in South Australia, which has so far escaped the worst of the summer fire emergency touching five of the country's six states.

In New South Wales a cool respite allowed authorities to complete evacuations of about 700 people, including tourists, from the village of Thredbo, a winter ski resort 150 km (90 miles) south of the nation's capital, Canberra.

Authorities were hoping the blaze would sweep through the rugged alpine ranges during Thursday's relative calm and allow water-bombing aircraft to save the village ahead of three days of temperatures nudging 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

"The thing most people are thinking is that we have everything humanly possible to do the very best we can. We have firefighters on the ground, we have air crane helicopters in the air," Thredbo Resort spokeswoman Susie Diver said.

Acting NSW fire commissioner Rob Rogers said Saturday was looming as the danger day for Australia's southeast with winds tipped to hit 60 kph (40mph), driving fires before them.

In Victoria, where 50 days of fires have blackened an area larger than Lebanon, light rains brought respite to three hamlets under threat from showers of embers sparking flare-ups ahead of advancing fire fronts.

"We can't kid ourselves that we've got that fire licked yet, there's still a lot of little spots and it's gradually creeping down towards private property," Environment Department spokesman Stuart Ord told local media.

The Victorian fires destroyed eight homes on Tuesday and caused blackouts in Australia's second largest city Melbourne.

Lightning strikes, blamed for most of the fires, lit another four blazes across the state.

The state's ambulance service said it had treated 1,332 firefighters for injuries since early December, some of them New Zealand firefighters burned when a firestorm overwhelmed them.

More than 150 US volunteers are to arrive in Australia on Monday, joining New Zealand and Canadian firefighters helping battle what Victoria's government this week said was one of the state's worst-ever fire disasters.

Australia faces extreme fire danger this summer because of severe drought. Bushfires, a regular feature of the Australian summer, have killed more than 250 people over the past 40 years.