Fast-moving wildfire shuts down Northern California highway
Motorists abandon vehicles on Interstate 5 near the Oregon state line.
A wildfire that the hatches for the dozens of kilometres of a major highway in California exploded overnight, tripling in size as it left behind the charred remains of abandoned vehicles behind, officials said Thursday.
The Delta Fire has now exploded to 15,294 acres near the Oregon state line from 11:30 am ET, in which mandatory evacuations and showing “extreme fire behavior,” U. S. Forest Service said in a statement.
The fire was human-caused, according to fire officials, that doesn’t indicate whether it was arson or accident.
The officials told the Redding Record Searchlight newspaper that the area under the evacuation order was rural with scattered residences adjacent to the Interstate 5 from Lakehead to the Oregon border.
The Delta Fire is burning in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. Parked trucks lined more than two miles from Interstate 5 if both directions remained closed for the traffic.
(AP Photo/Noah Berger)
When the fire broke out on Wednesday, the truckers leave their vehicles along Interstate 5. In a video, a passenger in a vehicle can be heard screaming: “Oh my God, I want to go!” as trees burst into flames and sheets of fire roiled on the side of the roadway.
TRUCKS LEAVE CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE CLOSED I-5
About 17 big rigs were abandoned and at least four caught fire, Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Foster of the California Highway Patrol’s Mount Shasta office told the Los Angeles Times. U. S. Forest Service workers assisted the driver of a burning truck on the safety and the other truckers, firefighters, and other aided other drivers, ” he said.
Fire engines over the Delta Fire burning in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. Parked trucks lined more than two miles from Interstate 5 if both directions remained closed for the traffic.
(AP Photo/Noah Berger)
“There are vehicles scattered about,” Brandon Vaccaro with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection told the Record Searchlight. “What happened here was probably pretty ugly for a while.”
AP photo/Noah Berger
(A scorched logging truck is based on the Interstate 5 and the Delta Fire is burning in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Calif., in the vicinity of Shasta Lake on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. )
Shasta-Trinity National Forest spokeswoman Carol Underhill told the newspaper that she was not aware of any injuries, but that one man was injured when he fell from his truck while trying to put out the fire when it first started.
“That is our main focus at this, the fire service and public safety,” Underhill said.
PILOT SHORTAGE GROUNDS AIR TANKERS USED TO BATTLE CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES FROM THE SKY
About 45 miles of I-5 were closed in both directions, and the fire also delayed Amtrak ‘ s Coast Starlight train service between Sacramento and Oregon. The city of Dunsmuir, with about 1,500 people, was about 15 miles from the fire. The residents were issued an evacuation warning, urging them to be prepared to leave if the fire threatened to come closer.
#HirzFire & #DeltaFire Morning UPDATES – September 6, 2018
Hirz Fire 46,150 Acres And 75% Containedhttps://t.co/oPAubDTFGs
Delta Fire – 15,294 Acres & 0% Containedhttps://t.co/BauKLHKuKn@ShastaSheriff @SiskiyouSheriff @CaltransD2 #ShastaTrinityNF pic.twitter.com/nRuMIP7C7L
— Shasta-Trinity NF (@ShastaTrinityNF) September 6, 2018
The latest blaze to hit the Golden State comes a month after a nearby fire in the Rescue environment, the Carr Fire burned some 1,100 homes and killed eight people-only completely recorded in the previous week. Cal Fire has also had to deal with personnel shortages, which are the source of air tankers used to fight the fire are grounded.
Cal Fire officials say the pilot ranks have thinned out recently due to a combination of pensions, private companies poaching of talent, and the need to rest after a prolonged fire seasons, allowing the agency to rework how the stage crews to attack fire from the air.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed