Delta Fire Latest: Shasta County Wildfire Grows Near Redding, California, I-5 Closed

The Delta fire in Northern California has grown to 22,000 acres, according to the latest update from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. More than 1,000 fire personnel are working to fight the fire, which was zero percent contained on Friday morning.

Newsweek has the latest information on the fire, road closures, evacuations and the forecast for the coming days.

Fire

The Delta fire started on Wednesday, some 2 miles north of Lakehead, at around 12:51 p.m. local time. The fire was initially reported to cover about 200 acres, though it quickly grew to at least 22,000 by Friday. There were no immediate reports of fatalities or injuries. It was unclear whether any homes had been destroyed.

Personnel from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Redding Fire Department and the United States Forest Service were on the scene. Officials estimated it would be fully contained by September 22.

Delta Fire
A firefighter stops for water on September 6 as backfire flames roar through brush and trees during the Delta Fire in Pollard Flat, California, in the Shasta Trinity National Forest. JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

Cause

The cause of the wildfire was listed as "human," although the details remained unclear. The cause was still under investigation.

Road Closures

The Delta fire prompted numerous road closures in the area, including on Interstate 5. On the northbound side, the highway was closed from the Fawndale exit, 10 miles north of Redding. On the southbound road, I-5 was closed 3.6 miles south of Mount Shasta at Mott Road.

Multiple vehicles, including numerous tractor trailers, were abandoned on I-5 as drivers fled the fire. At least 17 of them, two of which were partially melted, were left on the road, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Delta Fire Road Closures
The Delta Fire prompted numerous road closures in the area, including on Interstate 5. Shasta County Sheriff's Office

Evacuations

The National Wildfire Consulting Group said numerous structures were threatened by the Delta fire, prompting evacuations in three counties. The Shasta County Sheriff's Office issued mandatory evacuations for people living along the I-5 corridor from exit 707 at Vollmers north to exit 714 at Gibson. In Trinity County, the Sheriff's Office issued mandatory evacuation orders for residents of East Fork Road to Ramshorn Road, east to the Shasta-Trinity County line. In Sisikyou County, an evacuation warning was in place for people living in Dunsmiur. Residents were asked to keep alert in cause the warning turned into a mandatory evacuation order.

An evacuation shelter was set up at Mount Shasta Community Center for those displaced. The Siskiyou Humane Society, located at 1208 North Mount Shasta Boulevard, was also accepting small animals from those who evacuated.

Forecast

The National Wildfire Consulting Group said that over the course of the next 24 hours, fire activity would increase because of a dry cold front with wind gusts of up to 25 miles per hour.

"As we get closer to Redding, it's warm, it's dry," said Delta fire public information officer Brandon Vaccaro, according to KCRA. "We're not seeing good humidity recoveries at night. So, again, the fire's not only going to burn healthy during the day but healthy at night as well."

Hirz Fire

Also in Shasta County, fire personnel were working to fully contain the Hirz fire. The fire, which started on August 9, consumed 46,150 acres and was 80 percent contained by Friday. Officials expected the fire to be fully contained by Sunday.

Delta Fire Melted Rigs
Caltrans workers douse a a burned out truck as it is removed from Interstate 5 during the Delta Fire near Delta, California, in the Shasta Trinity National Forest on September 6, 2018. JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images