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Wildfire that closed key California highway doubles in size

11 September 2018

A wildfire erupted in forest land in Northern California on Wednesday, forcing the evacuation of dozens of homes and the closure of a stretch of an interstate highway near where a deadly blaze broke out in July, officials said.

Cal Fire spokesman Capt. Brandon Vaccaro told the Los Angeles Times two single-family residences and two combination residential and commercial buildings have been destroyed by the fire.

Truckers who rely heavily on I-5 to transport timber and other goods along the West Coast had the unenviable choice of waiting or taking a jammed detour that added 115 miles or so to their journeys.

Wildfires in California have scorched far more ground this year than in 2017, one of the most destructive in the state's history.

The California Highway Patrol said Thursday the closure of Interstate 5 in Shasta County has significantly snarled traffic.

The Delta Fire, the latest wildfire to chew through heavy brush and terrain in Shasta County at a rapid clip, has grown to almost 58 square miles and continues to burn without containment. The truck stop's facilities were stretched to their limits, cashier Jacob Chapman said Thursday afternoon.

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Flames from a backfire burn around a fire truck battling the Delta Fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018.

"It's been ridiculously congested". They said the fire is burning close to the highway, guard rails are destroyed, and thousands of trees pose a hazard of falling into the roadway. By 3 a.m. Saturday at the Green Mountain weather station east of the fire conditions had settled down, with 3 miles per hour north and northeast winds and 32 percent humidity.

"They had a lot of ground troops- they just didn't have many people to manage them, so our people were in charge of crews", he said. It continued to spread east and has merged with the 46,000-acre Hirz Fire.

California has been hit with one massive blaze after another over the summer, including a blaze not far from the Delta Fire that last month burned about 1,100 homes and killed eight people.

Firefighters have not been able to build any containment lines against the fast-moving blaze, officials with the Shasta-Trinity National Forest said on Twitter.

Wildfire that closed key California highway doubles in size