Firefighters battling deadly blazes in Northern California face a daunting new challenge Wednesday: Winds are expected to pick back up, threatening to spread wildfires that already have killed 21 people, destroyed hundreds of buildings and forced thousands of evacuations.
Most of the fires were ignited Sunday, driven by winds of up to 79 mph and dry conditions. The winds died down early this week, but gusts around 40 mph are possible Wednesday, and no rain is forecast for the next few days. "Anytime you get a wind gust over double digits, like 12 or 13 mph, that's when embers can fly," CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. "Hot spots ... will be fanned by the (winds) today."