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California wildfire crews bracing for gusty winds

HAPPY CAMP, Calif. (AP) -- Firefighters battling a blaze threatening hundreds of homes in a far Northern California forest are expecting another day of strong winds that could again imperil homes.

But they did get some help from the weather on Wednesday, when winds pushed parts of the fire in the Klamath National Forest back onto itself. Mandatory evacuation orders were lifted for some of the 270 homes they were affecting. The fire is threatening a total of about 750 homes.

Smoke plumes have sent embers into threatened communities in recent days, sparking spots fires that were quickly contained. Gusty winds were expected again on Thursday, creating the potential for more spot fires in threatened communities.

The fire has burned through about 120 square miles since it was sparked by lightning on Aug. 11. It has cost more than $44 million to fight. It is 19 percent contained.

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