Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Crews fight to outflank raging Northern California wildfire

Fast-moving fire erupts north of Redding shutting down Interstate 5 The Delta fire burns near Interstate 5 north of Redding
Lisa Bryan | 11 September, 2018, 03:02

The fire had burned more than 34 square miles of timber and brush and prompted evacuation orders for scattered homes and buildings in three counties in and around the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Fire officials say they don't expect to have containment of the fire, which started on Wednesday, until at least September 22.

More than 1,500 firefighters waged war Friday against a human-caused wildfire with flames as high as 300 feet that has turned Interstate 5 into a ghost town and burned through 24,500 acres of Northern California timberland.

During a community meeting Friday night in Dunsmuir, officials said that the fire was progressing primarily to the northwest but was also "extremely active" along the eastern edge between Interstate 5 and the month-old Hirz Fire. It continued to spread east and has merged with the 46,000-acre Hirz Fire.

The department had spent $432 million through the end of August, said Ken Pimlott of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. A temporary flight restriction continues to be in effect over the fire area.

Crews are now securing the fire along Dog Creek Road. Residents of Shasta county are under mandatory evacuation along the I-5 corridor from exit 707 to exit 714 at Gibson.


Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey said the fire seems to have slowed, but since it's burning about 15 miles from the city, residents of Dunsmuir should make sure their cars are ready and their belongings are in place. Due to the public safety threat posed by the Delta Fire, visitors and tourists will not be granted access through the soft closures to these communities.

"It's just going to be a mess out there on I-5", Hinkson said in a Facebook Live video from near the fire.

The fire forced the chamber to cancel its annual State of Jefferson Brewfest for the first time in 26 years, Dinjes said. The Mount Shasta Humane Society is accepting small animals of evacuees, at 1208 North Mount Shasta Blvd.

Officials were trying to determine whether it was safe to reopen a 45-mile (72-kilometer) section of Interstate 5 north of Redding.

Above: A 3-D map of the Delta Fire showing the perimeter at 1 a.m. PDT September 8, 2018. Drivers fled in terror and several big-rigs burned.

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