California Fires: Massive Overnight Growth in Delta, Hirz Fires Prompt Mandatory Evacuations

Dramatic moment wildfire explodes along a California freeway

In Shasta County, the Delta Fire, which erupted Wednesday, has burned 15.294 acres and continues to grow, reported the U.S. Forest Service on Thursday morning.

The Delta fire crossed from Shasta County into northeast Trinity County, burning into Halls Gulch and spurring evacuation orders and advisories Thursday.

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

The fire was caused by human activity, but no additional details are now known. Seventeen tractor-trailers were abandoned on the highway and at least four of the vehicles were destroyed by the flames.

"Northbound Interstate 5 is closed at the Fawndale exit approximately 10 miles north of Redding".

Dozens of miles of Interstate 5 have been shut down in California this week due to a major wildfire ravaging the trees on both side of the interstate.

The Forest Service did not release containment figures but California Highway Patrol Officer Jason Morton says the blaze is zero percent contained and still burning along Interstate 5.

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Cal Fire spokesman Brandon Vacarro said about 280 homes were considered threatened by the fire and that at least one outbuilding and two mixed-use commercial and residential structures had been damaged. The fire progressed primarily to the northwest, but it is also extremely active along the eastern edge between Interstate 5 and the Hirz fire. Areas east of Trinity River from Trinity Lake to Ramshorn Road are under advisory evacuation notice. These California wildfires come weeks after the Mendocino Complex Fire, Carr Fire, and other massive California fires were finally contained.

More than 6,000 wildfires have hit the USA state of California this year, burning an area of 580,100 hectares (1,435,263 acres) and causing damages worth more than $2.56bn, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the National Interagency Fire Center.

On Wednesday 466 personnel were demobilized from the 46,000-acre Hirz Fire 2 miles east of the Delta Fire, leaving about 1,400 on the Hirz Fire.

The California agency responsible for battling wildfires in the state says it needs $234 million more to effectively combat wildfires for the remainder of 2018.

U.S. Forest Service workers helped the driver of one flaming truck to safety and other truckers, firefighters and others aided other drivers, he said. The fire front was up to three miles wide on the north side, with flame lengths estimated at 300 feet. It was only fully contained last week.

Elsewhere in the state, a fire raging in the Sierra Nevada had grown to more than 7 square miles (18 square kilometers) after shutting down stretches of USA 395, State Route 108 and the Pacific Crest Trail along the eastern spine of California.

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