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Wildfire that closed key California highway doubles in size

Wildfire that closed key California highway doubles in size

A scorched logging truck sits on Interstate 5 as the Delta Fire burns in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California, on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018.

Jessica Gardetto, a spokeswoman for the National Interagency Fire Center, told the newspaper that wildfires are likely to grow and become more hard to contain.

Denise Yergenson, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Transportation, said Friday the wildfire that shut down Interstate 5 on Wednesday was still burning out of control along the highway. Crews have been constructing multiple indirect control lines and fuel breaks with dozers in an effort to protect these areas and redirect the fire around them.

The underbrush is being removed with a combination of bulldozers and hand tools, as well as controlled burning operations, Captain Brandon Vaccaro, a spokesman for the Delta fire incident command, said. Orange circles have burned in the past 12 to 24 hours, and yellow circles have burned within the past 48 hours.

"I've been evacuated for fires myself", the hot-shot firefighter said.

Evacuation orders remain in effect for Shasta County residents along the Interstate 5 corridor from Exit 707 at Vollmers north to Exit 714 at Gibson, as well as for residents in Trinity County from East Fork Road to Ramshorn Road east to the county line.

On the side affecting Trinity County, the fire continues to progress to the west toward Trinity Lake, where multiple structures are threatened.

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Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey said the fire seems to have slowed, but since it's burning about 15 miles from the city, residents of Dunsmuir should make sure their cars are ready and their belongings are in place.

Pimlott said in the letter Thursday that additional funds would be used to hire more firefighters and secure additional helicopters for his agency.

"We just want to thank our families for allowing us to go", he said.

An evacuation shelter is set up at Mount Shasta Community Center, 629 Alder Street, Mount Shasta.

Officials said that they will reasses the safety of reopening Interstate 5 on Friday morning.

As the fire burned through the dense forest, flames shot up to 300 feet into the air, spreading so fast that some truckers were forced to abandon their rigs and flee on foot.


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