Out-Of-Control NorCal Wildfire Shuts Down 5 Freeway Through Weekend

Arturo Kim
September 8, 2018

Both directions of a major highway connecting California and OR were closed and evacuations were ordered Wednesday when a fast-moving wildfire swept through a wilderness area.

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.

California has been hit with one massive blaze after another over the summer, including a blaze not far from the Delta Fire that last month burned about 1,100 homes and killed eight people.

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

The fast-moving fire forced truck drivers to abandon their rigs on the highway.

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.

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.

A firefighter sprays the smoldering remains of a vehicle on Interstate 5 as the Delta Fire burns in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. Residents of nearby Dunsmuir, Calif., have been told to be ready to evacuate as the wildfire shows no sign of slowing down due to weather conditions.

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office said numerous structures are threatened by the fire and at least three homes have been damaged or destroyed.

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The scale of the Carr and Ferguson fires, blowing eastward across the western United States, is apparent in this photo by European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst aboard the International Space Station. Life safety is a top priority for firefighters, and the Shasta County Sheriff's Office is coordinating evacuations for areas affected by the incident.

Delta and Hirz fires Red circles on this live-updating map are actively burning areas, as detected by satellite.

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

The Delta Fire which has burned 24,558 acres and is 0% contained as of this morning still continues to close I-5, the biggest traffic artery in California with no estimated time of reopening.

The Delta Fire erupted Wednesday afternoon and within hours had devoured almost 8 square miles of timber and brush on both sides of Interstate 5 near the OR state line.

The fire began Wednesday and almost tripled in size overnight, officials said.

One of the two blazes was fully contained in August and residents have been allowed to return home.

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

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