California wildfire rages unchecked,
threatens homes, shuts interstate
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[September 07, 2018]
By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A wildfire burned
unchecked early on Friday in northern California, threatening homes and
shutting down an interstate highway where motorists had to race from
The Delta Fire has already scorched 22,000 acres (8,903 hectares) since
it began on Wednesday in a Shasta-Trinity National Forest canyon along
the Sacramento River, about 250 miles (402 km) north of San Francisco,
the California Interagency Incident Management Team said in an advisory.
As of Thursday, firefighters had been unable to contain the blaze, said
Brandon Vaccaro, a spokesman for the Delta fire command team, but a
gradual rise in humidity is forecast, which could help slow the fire's
A stretch of Interstate 5 remained closed on Friday after the fire came
near the highway. Motorists were forced to flee on foot on Wednesday
before flames engulfed their cars and trucks, local media reported and
fire officials said.
The fire was threatening about 150 homes and other buildings in the
sparsely populated region. About 300 people were under mandatory
evacuation orders, Vaccaro said on Thursday.
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
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A helicopter drops water on a forest fire in Shasta County in
California, U.S., September 5, 2018 in this picture obtained on
September 6, 2018 from a social media video. CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY
The blaze was near the site of the Carr fire, which killed eight
people and incinerated hundreds of dwellings in and around the town
of Redding this summer, becoming one of California's most
destructive wildfires on record. No casualties have been reported
from the Delta Fire.
The blaze has raged with the same intensity seen in several
wildfires in recent months. Fueled by drought-ravaged pine forests
thick with dead and dying timber, flames spread quickly, leaping
from tree-top to tree-top and hurling showers of embers into more
The Delta fire was one of about 15 blazes burning across California
this week. Three times more ground has burned in California so far
this year than at the same point in 2017, which ranks as one of the
most destructive seasons on record.
(Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee)
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