Things couldn’t get much worse for residents of Shasta County, California, after the Carr Fire devastated Redding. But now, just ten miles to the north near Lakeland, the Delta Fire has grown to more than 15,000 acres overnight after exploding in size Wednesday evening. Interstate 5 has remained closed in both directions, U.S. Forest Service officials reported Thursday.
The fire grew “aggressively” overnight, with “flame lengths estimated at 300 feet high,” according to an incident update by the U.S. Forest Service and reported by the Modesto Bee.
The Delta Fire started about 1 p.m. Wednesday, consuming bush and timber at a “critical rate of spread,” Shasta-Trinity National Forest spokesman Joe Orosz said. The blaze quickly grew to 5,000 acres within hours, officials reported as of Wednesday’s last update. By Thursday morning’s incident report, the fire was mapped at 15,294 acres with no reported containment.
Evacuation orders are in place for the areas along the I-5 corridor on both sides, between Lamoine up to the Shasta-Siskiyou county line, and for all residents of Dunsmuir. An evacuation center has been established at the Mt. Shasta Community Center, 629 Alder St. The Mount Shasta Humane Society is accepting small animals of evacuees at 1208 North Mount Shasta Blvd.
DELTA AND HIRZ FIRES
Shasta-Trinity National Forest spokesman Chris Losi said about 300 civilians have been evacuated and at least 300 structures are threatened, including 150 residences.
The fire closed I-5 from 10 miles north of Redding at Fawndale Road to five miles south of Mount Shasta at Mott Road, Caltrans said Wednesday — a stretch of nearly 50 miles that is still closed as the fire continues to grow.
Additional, up-to-date information on road closures in Trinity County can be found via the county’s department of transportation Twitter feed.
Media reports and videos posted to social media show that more than a dozen big rigs were abandoned along the freeway Wednesday. Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Foster of the California Highway Patrol’s Mount Shasta office told the Los Angeles Times that at least four had caught fire Wednesday.
Fire officials have indicated that the Delta Fire is human-caused, but did not give further details.
The Carr Fire, which killed eight people and devastated parts of Shasta County in the Redding area, reached 100 percent containment just a week earlier, on Aug. 30.