Wildfire that closed key California highway doubles in size

A fire rages as motorists travel on Interstate 5 near Lake Shasta Calif. Wednesday Sept. 5 2018

A fire rages as motorists travel on Interstate 5 near Lake Shasta Calif. Wednesday Sept. 5 2018

CHP is advising that this alternative route is a windy, two-lane road. But the interstate was expected to open Sunday.

Update: 1:30 p.m. The highway was closed on Wednesday as fire erupted on both sides. About 300 people have evacuated from the area.

The unrelenting flames have drained California's firefighting budget and prompted victims to file more than 10,000 claims totaling almost $1 billion in property claims - even before the start of the unsafe fall fire season, officials said. "Whatever occurred here was probably pretty ugly for a while".

The Delta Fire erupted Wednesday afternoon and within hours had devoured almost 8 square miles of timber and brush on both sides of Interstate 5 near the OR state line.

As fall - usually California's busiest fire season - approaches, officials say the agency that oversees emergency fire responses is running out of money. It had no containment Wednesday evening.

BREAKING: The #DeltaFire has forced the closure of I-5.

California has been hit with one massive blaze after another, including a blaze not far from the Delta Fire that killed eight people and burned about 1,100 homes last month. Two were turned into twisted piles of melted metal.

At least 12 homes were destroyed as a result of the Holy fire near the Cleveland National Forest in August.

"My dad could barely get out fast enough (sic) all he got out with was a roll of tp (sic) a gallon of water and food for his dog. It's just not a safe situation", she said. They quickly grew together, showing extreme fire behavior and a growth rate of up to one miles per hour. Now evacuations are mandatory for anyone living along the Interstate 5 corridor from exit 707 at Vollmers north to exit 714 at Gibson. Two single-family homes have been destroyed, and two other buildings damaged, Vaccaro said. There is an evacuation center located at the Mt. Shasta Community Center, located at 629 Alder St.in Mt. Shasta.

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

The blaze also has caused major travel disruptions in the region.

Amtrak's Beth K. Toll said in an email that there aren't any alternate routes through the area now available.

Now, a 45-mile stretch of the interstate is closed in both directions, forcing drivers to take a 100-mile detour on winding mountain roads, jammed with traffic. Official will re-evaluate safety conditions this morning and a decision on reopening the freeway will be made this afternoon. Zoom in to see the Delta Fire.

"There are several areas along the southern perimeter where the fire crossed over primary control lines and crews are aggressively attacking these slop-overs to prevent the fire from making southerly progress".

The evacuation for residents along East Fork Road to Ramshorn Road and east to the Shasta County line is still in effect.

Here is a map of where the Delta Fire is located from CAL FIRE.

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