SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — Rain forecast for Northern California and lighter winds could help firefighters battling wildfires that have burned for more than a week.

National Weather Service meteorologist Charles Bell tells the San Francisco Chronicle that temperatures in hard hit areas will remain hot and dry for now but rain is on the way to the region where more than 40 people have died.

Bell says a storm now centered in the Gulf of Alaska should arrive in the area by Thursday and continue into Friday.
About two-tenths of an inch (0.5 centimeters) of rain is expected to fall.

Bell says that could help slow the spread of the fires.