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PHOTOS: Americans Beat The Heat

PHOTOS: Americans Beat The Heat

Angel Agostini cools herself off while watering her lawn and plants at her home on Wednesday, July 17, 2013, in Albany, N.Y. Forecasters warned of potentially dangerous temperatures from Minnesota to Massachusetts, as the nation's largest heat wave of the summer stretched out and stagnated, with relief in many places still days away. Photo: Associated Press/Mike Groll

A cross-country heat wave is buckling highway pavement in several states, exacerbating emergencies like broken water mains and making dangerous work more so for western firefighters battling wildfires. At least one person has died.

Forecasters say it’ll be days before temperatures cool — and with the colder air will come the risk of severe thunderstorms.

Here are photos showing America — at work, at play and sweating all the while — during the hottest spell so far this summer.

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in Entertainment, National

Celebrate safely with these fireworks tips

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Since Independence Day falls during the work week, members of St. Richard Catholic Church celebrated the holiday on Sunday, June 30, 2013, with a picnic-style outing complete with fireworks that could be seen throughout the northeast Jackson, Miss. neighborhood. The long streamers were recorded in a 13-second time exposure. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Don't be one of the thousands of Americans injured by fireworks on July Fourth. Stay safe and have a happy holiday!

in National, Viral Videos

WATCH: The origin of fireworks

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The history behind the July Fourth firecrackers that mark our Independence Day celebrations.

in National

Fireworks fill the skies with more than bursts of color

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A new study says the staple of America's Independence Day celebrations spew pollution.

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Fourth of July freebies

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Celebrate your independence from high prices!

in Lifestyle, National

Montana polygamist vows to fight for marriage license

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A Montana polygamist featured on the show "Sister Wives" says he will sue if denied the right to legally wed his second wife.