With only 5% containment and over 64 square miles burned, the Delta Fire rages on Monday morning, preventing the reopening of one of the most important Interstate highways in California for the fifth straight day in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
Officials couldn’t determine whether it was safe to reopen a 45-mile section of Interstate 5 north of Redding, where the fire has destroyed thousands of trees — some 70 feet tall — that could fall onto the highway that runs from Mexico to Canada and serves as a main artery for commerce, reports Madison.com.
Trucks and other traffic were using a smaller road that has added 100 miles and up to eight hours to the journey.
The stretch of highway closed Wednesday as flames flanked the roadway and left the roadway littered with burnt and abandoned trucks. Although the wrecks have been cleared, the 41,000-acre fire remained a threat.
Meanwhile to the south, another fire that began Saturday in remote Napa County woodlands prompted evacuations and threatened about 180 homes. The Snell Fire was only 10 percent contained.
The Delta Fire was just the latest of several enormous fires that have ravaged the north area in recent weeks. In fact, the fire was moving into an area already burned by a larger blaze called the Hirz Fire. That blaze, burning in oak woodlands, was 95 percent contained.