Dry, warm gusts of wind are forecast for Sunday as firefighters continue to grapple with the deadliest blazes in California’s history, which have killed at least 40 people and reduced entire neighborhoods to ash. Fast-moving fires spread by shifting winds forced thousands more people to evacuate their homes on Saturday as the death toll crept upwards. Hundreds of people remain unaccounted for. More than 10,000 firefighters supported by air tankers and helicopters battled 16 major wildfires in areas north of

San Francisco that have consumed some 214,000 acres (86,000 hectares), or roughly 334 square miles (865 sq km) – an area larger than New York City. Arid winds would eventually die down on Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service said, but no rain was forecast to fall on the fires till Wednesday. The 40 confirmed fatalities, including 22 in Sonoma County, make it California’s deadliest fire since records began, surpassing the 29 deaths from the Griffith Park fire of 1933 in Los Angeles. READ MORE