Authorities are expecting powerful wind gusts that could make it more challenging to battle an erratic blaze that has killed 19 Arizona firefighters.

Arizona Wildfire (AFP/Getty Images)

National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Wallmann said while 80 mph wind gusts are unlikely, there's potential for stronger winds than those that swept the blaze on Sunday, when the flames overtook 19 Hotshot firefighters. He also said weekend thunderstorms could complicate efforts.

Fire behavior analyst Stewart Turner said higher humidity has tamped the flames down, but they could be stirred up Tuesday by the expected winds.

Southwest Incident Management Team spokeswoman Karen Takai said it remains unclear how many houses have burned, but crews are working to figure out the scope of the destruction.


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