Northern California Wildfire Triples in Size Near Redding

Northern California Wildfire Triples in Size Near Redding

The highway remains closed to traffic in both directions as crews battle the blaze.

Nearby, the Hirz Fire is burning parts of the two million acre Shasta-Trinity National Forest, which is also close to the town of Redding.

The two fires destroyed or damaged a combined 8,800 homes and 329 businesses.

A crew of 34 firefighters have touched down in New Zealand after spending nearly six weeks battling wildfires in California.

The blaze Thursday along Interstate 5 has blackened 23 square miles (60 square kilometers), prompting mandatory evacuations.

Although the fire wasn't burning near any large towns, fire spokesman Brandon Vacarro said about 280 homes were considered threatened.

Photos posted online by the U.S. Forest Service showed bright orange flames in a forest just beyond a truck on a highway, and broad columns of white smoke rising above forests.

"People are packing right now, just to be ready in case", he said.

Hundreds of firefighters responded to the blaze, which officials have reported was human-caused, but details are not yet clear.

The fire ripped onto I-5 Wednesday afternoon, forcing frantic drivers to abandon their vehicles, including several big rigs. At least two trucks were partially melted.


The so called Delta Fire has burned more than 34 square miles (88 square kilometers) and prompted evacuation orders for scattered homes and buildings in three counties in and around Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

The Delta fire erupted on Wednesday in a canyon along the Sacramento River about 250 miles north of San Francisco and by Thursday morning had scorched more than 15,000 acres, triple the area that had burned some 12 hours earlier.

The Forest Service said flames as tall as 300 feet were reported along the highway. There will be many drivers on the road, so motorists should expect delays.

While New Zealanders fighting fires in OR to the north had been glad of their Swanndris to keep them warm at night, in California the heat was "unrelenting", 30C overnight and 40C during the day.

'Whatever occurred here was probably pretty ugly for a while'.

Caltrans said Friday they expect Interstate 5 will remain closed until Sunday, when they will re-assess the situation.

Amtrak delayed its Coast Starlight service from Sacramento to OR because of the fire.

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

The Delta Fire burns in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018.

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