California wildfires: Motorists panic as flames surround highway

California wildfires: Motorists panic as flames surround highway

California wildfires: Motorists panic as flames surround highway

The Delta Fire burns in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018.

On Thursday firefighters were working on a firing operation on the east side of the fire that would tie it in with the 46,000-acre Hirz Fire, checking the spread on the east side of Interstate 5 and keep it from moving farther north in that area. Kyle Foster of the California Highway Patrol's Mount Shasta office, About 17 big-rigs were abandoned along the interstate and at least four caught fire.

The Mendocino Complex Fire, which was active for over 35 days, burned more than 186,000 hectares (459,000 acres), making it the largest complex fire in the state's history.

Burning grass, timber and brush, the blaze quickly exploded in size after igniting about 1 p.m. Wednesday near Lakehead and reaching 5,000 acres that night.

Chris Losi, a spokesman for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, said rural homes and cabins in and around the forest were under evacuation orders, from the community Lakehead north to the Siskiyou County line.

Either way, by Wednesday evening the fire had consumed nearly 8 square miles of forest on either side of I-5, growing so close to the interstate that truckers and motorists alike began abandoning their vehicles and fleeing the area on foot, reported Fox News.

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office has issued mandatory evacuations for several communities along I-5 between Vollmers and Gibson and say that numerous structures are threatened.

The two fires destroyed or damaged a combined 8,800 homes and 329 businesses. No casualties have been reported from the Delta Fire.

The agency spent $432 million through the end of August and had only about $11 million left, Pimlott wrote.

The Legislature budgets for firefighting based on the historical average costs.

The highway that runs between Mexico and Canada, and is the main thoroughfare for commercial trucks, is closed for a third day and officials are meeting to assess whether it can reopen.

Google Maps continues to update the California fire map with information about fires to which the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is responding, along with information about evacuations and road closures.

Interstate 5 has been closed for about 10 miles around Redding, about 130 miles northwest of Sacramento in Shasta County.

Farther north, an evacuation warning was in effect for the town of Dunsmuir, advising some 1,600 residents to be ready to flee at a moment's notice.

Amtrak delayed its Coast Starlight service from Sacramento to OR because of the fire.

'It isn't a lot of people, ' he said.

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