California wildfire crews brace for weather shift

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California wildfire crews brace for weather shift
WEED, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Kathy Besk (L) cries with her daughter Shelley Besk (C) and her son Bryce Shannon (R) after two CalFire firefighters found her rings in the burned-out ruins of their home on September 16, 2014 in Weed, California. Fueled by high winds, the fast-moving Boles Fire swept through the town of Weed yesterday, burning 100 structures that included the high school and a lumber mill. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
WEED, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Kathy Besk (L) cries with her daughter Shelley Besk as they look at rings that were found by firefighters in the burned-out ruins of their home on September 16, 2014 in Weed, California. Fueled by high winds, the fast-moving Boles Fire swept through the town of Weed yesterday, burning 100 structures that included the high school and a lumber mill. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
This Oct. 11, 2014 booking photo provided by the Siskiyou County, Calif., Sheriff's Office shows Ronald Beau Marshall. Marshall, 24, was arrested on suspicion of starting a wildfire that devastated the Northern California lumber town of Weed in September, 2014. He was arrested Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014 on felony counts of arson to inhabited structures, property and forest land. The Siskiyou County District Attorney's office filed a criminal complaint against Marshall on Friday. A judge issued a warrant for Marshall's arrest. He was booked into jail on $250,000 bail. A phone number listed for Marshall's home in Weed was disconnected. The wind-drive blaze devastated Weed, quickly burning through a hillside neighborhood and destroying 150 structures — most of them houses. (AP Photo/Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office)
Firefighters walk near the remains of a row of houses destroyed by a wildfire in Weed, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. The intense blaze erupted Monday south of Weed. Winds gusting up to 40 mph pushed the flames into town, where they quickly chewed through a hillside neighborhood. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Apples hang on a tree, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, next to a home destroyed by a wind-driven wildfire in Weed, Calif. An estimated 100 structures were burned in the blaze. (AP Photo/Jeff Barnard)
The remains of a home destroyed by a fire sit in Weed, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. In just a few hours Monday, wind-driven flames destroyed or damaged roughly 100 homes, the saw mill and a church. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Kate Stonecypher, 22, walks through the burned remains of her home, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, that was destroyed by the Boles Fire, in Weed, Calif. The fire swept through the area Monday destroying more than 100 buildings, including two churches and burning more than 300 acres. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
A firefighter hoses down a hot spot in the rubble of a home, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, that was destroyed by a wildfire in Weed, Calif. The intense blaze erupted Monday south of Weed. Winds gusting up to 40 mph pushed the flames into town, where they quickly chewed through a hillside neighborhood. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Smoke from a wildfire rises into the sky near Pollack Pines, Calif., Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. The fire, which started Sunday has consumed more than 3,000 acres and forced the evacuation of dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
A jet aerial tanker drops its load of fire retardant on a fire near Pollack Pines, Calif., Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. The fire, which started Sunday has consumed more than 3,000 acres and forced the evacuation of dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
FRESH POND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Firefighters monitor a backfire as they battle the King Fire on September 17, 2014 in Fresh Pond, California. The King fire is threatening over 1,600 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 18,544 acres. The out of control fire is 5 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A firefighter is shrouded in smoke as he battles the King fire near Fresh Pond Fresh Pond, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. The blaze that started Sunday has consumed more than 18,000 acres and is only 5 percent contained.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
WEED, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Foscheck fire retardant covers a car in front of a home after a wildfire on September 16, 2014 in Weed, California. A fast moving wildfire fueled by high winds ripped through the town of Weed on the afternoon of September 15, burning 100 structures including the high school and lumber mill. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
WEED, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Kathy Besk (L) reaches for a ring found by CalFire firefighter Tommy Janow (R) in the burned-out ruins of her home on September 16, 2014 in Weed, California. Fueled by high winds, the fast-moving Boles Fire swept through the town of Weed yesterday, burning 100 structures that included the high school and a lumber mill. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
WEED, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Foscheck fire retardant covers a home September 16, 2014 in Weed, California. Fueled by high winds, a fast-moving wildfire swept through the town of Weed yesterday afternoon, burning 100 structures that included the high school and a lumber mill. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
POLLOCK PINES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: A firefighter pauses as he mops up hot spots in an area burned by the King fire on September 19, 2014 near Pollock Pines, California. The King fire is threatening over 12,000 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 76,000 acres. The out of control fire is 10 percent contained (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FRESH POND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: A firefighter throws a flare to start a backfire as he battles the King Fire on September 17, 2014 in Fresh Pond, California. The King fire is threatening over 1,600 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 18,544 acres. The out of control fire is 5 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FRESH POND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Firefighters monitor a backfire as they battle the King Fire on September 17, 2014 in Fresh Pond, California. The King fire is threatening over 1,600 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 18,544 acres. The out of control fire is 5 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FRESH POND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: A firefighter uses a drip torch to start a backfire as he battles the King Fire on September 17, 2014 in Fresh Pond, California. The King fire is threatening over 1,600 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 18,544 acres. The out of control fire is 5 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FRESH POND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Firefighters monitor a backfire as they battle the King Fire on September 17, 2014 in Fresh Pond, California. The King fire is threatening over 1,600 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 18,544 acres. The out of control fire is 5 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FRESH POND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Firefighters monitor a backfire as they battle the King Fire on September 17, 2014 in Fresh Pond, California. The King fire is threatening over 1,600 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 18,544 acres. The out of control fire is 5 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FRESH POND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: A firefighter uses a drip torch to start a backfire as he battles the King Fire on September 17, 2014 in Fresh Pond, California. The King fire is threatening over 1,600 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 18,544 acres. The out of control fire is 5 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FRESH POND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: A firefighter monitors a backfire as he battles the King Fire on September 17, 2014 in Fresh Pond, California. The King fire is threatening over 1,600 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 18,544 acres. The out of control fire is 5 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FRESH POND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Firefighters monitor the King Fire as it burns through brush on September 17, 2014 in Fresh Pond, California. The King fire is threatening over 1,600 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 18,544 acres. The out of control fire is 5 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FRESH POND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: A firefighter monitors the King Fire as it burns through brush on September 17, 2014 in Fresh Pond, California. The King fire is threatening over 1,600 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 18,544 acres. The out of control fire is 5 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Herve Leconte sits atop his vehicle to display a sign thanking all those who are dealing with the King fire while park alongside Highway 50 near Camino, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Firefighters from the US Forest Service, pours clean up hot spots of the King fire in the El Dorado National Forest near Georgetown, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. More than 3,500 firefighters from various agencies are battling the blaze that started Saturday and has burned more than 70,000 acres.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
POLLOCK PINES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Firefighters mop up hot spots in an area burned by the King fire on September 19, 2014 near Pollock Pines, California. The King fire is threatening over 12,000 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 76,000 acres. The out of control fire is 10 percent contained (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Smoke rises from a burning tree as a firefighter puts water on flames approaching a containment line, while fighting the King fire near Fresh Pond, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Authorities arrested Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, Wednesday and have charged him with deliberately starting the Northern California wildfire that has burned more than 70,000 acres and is only 5 percent contained. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) Fresh Pond, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
A firefighter puts water on a burning tree as flames approach a containment line, while fighting the King fire near Fresh Pond, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Authorities arrested Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, Wednesday and have charged him with deliberately starting the Northern California wildfire that has burned more than 70,000 acres and is only 5 percent contained.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
A firefighter puts water flames approaching a containment line, while fighting the King fire near Fresh Pond, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Authorities arrested Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, Wednesday and have charged him with deliberately starting the Northern California wildfire that has burned more than 70,000 acres and is only 5 percent contained.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
The smoldering empty shell of a local library and a Head Start center are all that remain Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, the day after a wildfire swept through Weed, Calif. In just a few hours Monday, wind-driven flames destroyed or damaged roughly 100 homes, a saw mill and a church. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
A firefighter hoses down flames from the King fire near Fresh Pond, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. The blaze that started Sunday has consumed more than 18,000 acres and is only 5 percent contained.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
A firefighter hoses down a hot spot in the rubble of a home, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, that was destroyed by a wildfire in Weed, Calif. The intense blaze erupted Monday south of Weed. Winds gusting up to 40 mph pushed the flames into town, where they quickly chewed through a hillside neighborhood. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Fire burns near road signage near Uncle Tom's Cabin in El Dorado County, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. The King fire has burned more than 70,000 acres. (Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/MCT via Getty Images)
Wayne Allen Huntsman, right, appears in the El Dorado Superior Court with Public Defender William Dittman for charges related to the King Fire, in Placerville, Calif., Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Huntsman pleaded not guilty to an arson charge. He was being held on $10 million bail after authorities said he started the blaze. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
A pair of firefighters sleep out in the open near dozens of tents used to house personnel coming off the fire lines from the King Fire, at the base camp in Placerville, Calif., Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Wayne Allen Huntsman pleaded not guilty to an arson charge Friday in El Dorado County Superior Court. He was being held on $10 million bail after authorities said he started the blaze. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
POLLOCK PINES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: A view of a trees that were burned by the King fire on September 19, 2014 near Pollock Pines, California. The King fire is threatening over 12,000 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 76,000 acres. The out of control fire is 10 percent contained (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
POLLOCK PINES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: A burned out truck sits in front of a structure that was destroyed by the King fire on September 19, 2014 near Pollock Pines, California. The King fire is threatening over 12,000 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 76,000 acres. The out of control fire is 10 percent contained (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
POLLOCK PINES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Tomatoes burned by the King fire hang from the vine in front of a home that was destroyed on September 19, 2014 near Pollock Pines, California. The King fire is threatening over 12,000 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 76,000 acres. The out of control fire is 10 percent contained (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
POLLOCK PINES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: An official insepcts a structure that was destroyed by the King fire on September 19, 2014 near Pollock Pines, California. The King fire is threatening over 12,000 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 76,000 acres. The out of control fire is 10 percent contained (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
POLLOCK PINES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Firefighters mop up hot spots in an area burned by the King fire on September 19, 2014 near Pollock Pines, California. The King fire is threatening over 12,000 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 76,000 acres. The out of control fire is 10 percent contained (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
POLLOCK PINES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Firefighters mop up hot spots in an area burned by the King fire on September 19, 2014 near Pollock Pines, California. The King fire is threatening over 12,000 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 76,000 acres. The out of control fire is 10 percent contained (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
POLLOCK PINES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Firefighters mop up hot spots in an area burned by the King fire on September 19, 2014 near Pollock Pines, California. The King fire is threatening over 12,000 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 76,000 acres. The out of control fire is 10 percent contained (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A pair of firefighters sleep out in the open near dozens of tents used to house personnel coming off the fire lines from the King Fire, at the base camp in Placerville, Calif., Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Wayne Allen Huntsman pleaded not guilty to an arson charge Friday in El Dorado County Superior Court. He was being held on $10 million bail after authorities said he started the blaze. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Herve Leconte sits atop his vehicle to display a sign thanking all those who are dealing with the King fire while park alongside Highway 50 near Camino, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
FRESH POND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Firefighters take pictures with their call phones as they monitor a backfire while battling the King Fire on September 17, 2014 in Fresh Pond, California. The King fire is threatening over 1,600 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 18,544 acres. The out of control fire is 5 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FRESH POND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Embers swirl around firefighters as they monitor a backfire while battling the King Fire on September 17, 2014 in Fresh Pond, California. The King fire is threatening over 1,600 homes in the forested area about an hour east of Sacramento and has consumed over 18,544 acres. The out of control fire is 5 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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By TERRY COLLINS

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Crews battling a huge Northern California wildfire threatening thousands of homes braced Monday for the possibility of strong, erratic winds similar to when the blaze doubled in size a week ago.

The King Fire east of Sacramento had burned through 137 square miles, an increase of about 9 square miles overnight despite crews making some progress Sunday in cooler and slightly wet conditions.

But expected warmer temperatures, low humidity and winds of up to 30 mph could increase fire activity, state fire spokesman Capt. Tom Piranio said.

King Fire: 80,944 Acres and Counting

"This could set up some potential fire growth similar to what we experienced when it grew exponentially last week," Piranio said. "We are working very aggressively to maintain the contingency lines."

Last week, the blaze grew to 111 square miles overnight when winds surged more than 25 mph, the state forestry and fire protection department reported. Now, more than 5,000 firefighters - from as far as Florida and Alaska - have worked around the clock to increase containment of the fire from 10 to 18 percent.

However, a red flag warning has been issued for Tuesday as wind gusts could reach as high as 35 mph by Wednesday, said Holly Osbourne, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

"It's definitely going to pose a challenge to the control lines the firefighters have created," she said.

The wildfire which started on Sept. 13 continues to threaten about 21,000 structures, more than half of them homes. It has destroyed 10 homes and 22 outbuildings in the White Meadows area of Pollock Pines, according to preliminary figures released Sunday.

About 100 evacuees were allowed to return home, but some 2,700 remain under evacuation orders, state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said. The fire also continued to threaten a key University of California, Berkeley research station that is home to scores of experiments on trees, plants and other wildlife.

On Sunday, poor air quality forced a last-minute cancellation of two popular Ironman events in nearby Lake Tahoe, disappointing about 3,000 athletes who signed up for the competition, Ironman operations manager Keats McGonigal said.

A man charged with starting the fire, Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, pleaded not guilty to arson Friday. He remains in the El Dorado County jail on $10 million bail.

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