California Wildfire Shuts Down 50-Mile Stretch of Busy Interstate to Oregon

Marsha Scott
September 10, 2018

California's insurance commissioner said Thursday that victims of that fire and one in the Mendocino area - the two largest blazes in the state so far this year - have filed more than 10,000 claims so far totaling $845 million.

Officials initially ordered evacuations for everyone adjacent to I-5 north of Lakehead all the way to the Siskiyou County border as the fire grew from 50 to 500 acres Wednesday afternoon.

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. The highway was closed on Wednesday as fire erupted on both sides. Lakehead, where the fire is located, is near Redding, California.

A crew of 34 firefighters have touched down in New Zealand after spending nearly six weeks battling wildfires in California. And there have been no reports of injuries or fatalities associated with the fire.

The California Governor's office has another active fire map for comparison, which is embedded below. Zoom in to see the Delta Fire. Mapping Support is tracking the fire closely.

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. By Thursday evening, it had scorched 22,000 acres and was 0% contained.

The blaze that shut down Interstate 5 on Wednesday was still burning out of control, said Denise Yergenson, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Transportation. On the southeast corner of the fire, crews are working to anchor and extend control lines between Interstate 5 and the Hirz Fire to hold the fire's southern progression.

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

Northbound I-5 is now closed at Fawndale Road, north of Redding. Southbound Interstate 5 is closed 3.6 miles south of Mt. Shasta at Mott Rd.

Firefighters have not been able to build any containment lines against the fast-moving blaze, officials with the Shasta-Trinity National Forest said on Twitter.

A representative from the Shasta County Sheriff's Office could no immediately be reached for comment.

An evacuation shelter is set up at Mount Shasta Community Center, 629 Alder Street, Mount Shasta.

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

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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