Wildfires continue to race through California Wine Country

SONOMA, Calif. (AP) - A wildfire tearing through California's wine country continues to expand unabated, prompting authorities to order more evacuations.

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The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday it ordered mandatory evacuations for several areas of Sonoma Valley after a blaze grew to 44 square miles (113 square kilometers).

After a day of cooler weather and calmer winds, officials say dangerous gusty winds will return to the region Wednesday afternoon, complicating firefighters' efforts.

The blaze in Sonoma County is one of a series of fires that flared up north of San Francisco on Sunday night and continue to burn with little to no containment. Seventeen people have died in the blazes, 11 of them in Sonoma County.

The fires have also left at least 180 people injured and have destroyed more than 2,000 homes and businesses