Aug 26, 2012 3:57 PM by ASSOCIATED PRESS
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Fire officials say the thousands of firefighters making progress against a series of wildfires across California are facing new challenges as strong winds raise concerns that some of the fires could jump containment lines.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Sunday across a wide area of Northern California, with forecasters predicting wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour in some of the fire zones.
The stronger winds come after firefighters improved containment lines during the past few days around the Ponderosa Fire, which is burning about 25 miles southeast of Redding.
The blaze, sparked by a lightning strike on Aug. 18, was 74 percent contained after scorching more than 43 square miles.
A second major fire in the region, this one burning in the Plumas National Forest since July 29, has expanded to more than 104 square miles.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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