Wildfire that closed key California highway doubles in size

Larry Hoffman
September 11, 2018

The AP noted that Cal Fire has requested additional funding in seven of the past 10 years, though the latest one has come earlier in the year than any previous requests.

We will update when the highway is reopened.

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.

Also in the photo, the large red blob to the right is the location of the still-burning Hirz Fire.

Patience was running thin at the Pilot Travel Center in the town of Weed, near the northern end of the closure.

Damage tallies for the newest fire weren't available yet Wednesday night, but California Highway Patrol Sgt. Tim Hinkson said at least several trucks had burned.

Although the wrecks have been cleared, the 41,000-acre fire remains a threat as it chews through timber and brush in and around Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Parked big rigs lined the roads surrounding the facility.

The fire, named the Delta Fire, is burning in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest with no containment. "A lot of the truckers are upset".

Fire trucks pass the Delta Fire burning in the Shasta Trinity National Forest Calif. on Wednesday Sept. 5 2018. Parked trucks lined more than two miles of Interstate 5 as both directions remained closed to traffic
'OH MY GOD, I WANT TO GO!': Abandoned trucks litter highway as explosive California wildfire rages

"It's just going to be a mess out there on I-5", Hinkson said in a Facebook Live video from near the fire. "We have been everywhere from the Carr (which destroyed homes in Redding) to the Whaleback (in the Sierra near Susanville), to the Mendocino Complex and more here".

Fire officials said in a statement that crews were setting dozer lines and backfires to protect Highland Springs, north of Boulder Creek, as well as Castella and Dunsmuir farther north.

So what keeps the firefighters motivated?

East of Interstate 5, crews are constructing various control lines to connect the Delta Fire with the Hirz Fire, using the burn scar as a large fuel break.

Underhill didn't know how many homes were evacuated, since she said it's a rural area with scattered residences.

The Delta Fire was human-caused, fire officials said, but they didn't indicate whether it was arson or accident.

The Carr fire has gone on to ravage 1000 homes and has killed at least seven people, while the Mendocino has been declared the largest in state history, having burnt through nearly 300,000 acres of land.

Most are either fully contained or close to containment.

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