California's Delta Fire Engulfs Vehicles on Interstate 5

Hugh Fox
September 8, 2018

Another raging and rapidly growing wildfire this week in Northern California has prompted evacuations, road closings and a massive firefighting response, the US Forest Service said.

The blaze in Shasta County was reported during the afternoon, and within hours had charred almost about 21 square kilometers (8 square miles) of brush and timber in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest about 320 kilometers (200 miles) north of San Francisco.

The US Forest Service said the blaze is now covering 38 square miles, up from 34 square miles on Thursday night.

About 45 miles (72 kilometres) of the I-5 were closed in both directions, said Chris Losi, a spokesman for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Officials said that they will reasses the safety of reopening Interstate 5 on Friday morning.

Truckers were forced to abandon their vehicles as flames roared up hillsides.

The California Highway Patrol says reopening Interstate 5 is a priority but that highway patrol, fire and transportation officials will meet Friday to assess when to reopen the interstate running from the U.S. -Mexico border to the U.S.

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The wildfire flared just weeks after a blaze in the Redding area killed eight people and burned about 1,100 homes.

The blaze also delayed Amtrak's Coast Starlight train service between Sacramento and Oregon.

The Delta Fire comes just weeks after a devastating fire destroyed almost 1,100 homes and killed eight people in the same area.

More than 1,220 firefighters have been deployed to fight the Delta wildfire.

An up-to-date list of mandated evacuated areas is available, here.

The fire started earlier this week and is zero percent contained.

"Siskiyou County Evacuations: The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office has issued an evacuation warning for all residents of Dunsmuir.

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Follow the Shasta County Sheriff's Facebook page:".

'It isn't a lot of people, ' he said.

The agency's website now recognizes 17 major wildfires burning across the state, with just one fully contained.

The Delta Fire 24 miles north of Redding, California has grown to approximately 22,000 acres according to the latest estimate from fire officials.

The Delta Fire, the latest wildfire to chew through heavy brush and terrain in Shasta County at a rapid clip, has grown to almost 58 square miles and continues to burn without containment.

Over the next few days, southeastern Idaho and northern Nevada will also be elevated to critical fire risk due to gusty winds and a drier air mass moving into the region. East of Interstate 5 at Sims Flat, crews are using an existing Hirz Fire contingency line along Sweetbriar Ridge as an indirect control line for the Delta Fire to limit its northeastern spread. It was only fully contained last week.

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