Officials say progress is being made in some of the largest wildfires burning in Northern California but that the death toll is almost sure to surge.
Fire Chief Ken Pimlott says the number of dead is 26 as of Thursday.
Pimlott says crews have made significant progress against blazes in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and they're being redirected to wine country.
He says the fires blackening California's wine country are threatening dozens of communities and larger cities and that erratic wind gusts are expected in the area starting Friday.
More than 8,000 firefighters are battling the blazes and additional manpower and equipment was pouring in from across the country and as far as Australia and Canada.