Wildfire threat keeps California highway closed Sunday

Casey GreeneSep 11, 2018

The agency's website now recognizes 17 major wildfires burning across the state, with just one fully contained.

The fire, which started on August 5, caused the complete shutdown of Interstate 5, with still no estimated time for reopening.

Although the wrecks have been cleared, the 41,000-acre (16,600-hectare) fire remained a threat as it chewed through timber and brush in and around Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

The Carr fire has gone on to ravage 1000 homes and has killed at least seven people, while the Mendocino has been declared the largest in state history, having burnt through nearly 300,000 acres of land.

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.

Over the next few days, southeastern Idaho and northern Nevada will also be elevated to critical fire risk due to gusty winds and a drier air mass moving into the region.

On September 9, the Delta fire was burning over 40,000 acres and was 5 percent contained.

Almost 300 homes were considered threatened, but the blaze was not burning near any large towns, fire spokesman Brandon Vacarro said.

At least two people appear to have lost homes in the fire.

"I've been delayed a day and a half already", said one trucker.

"It's a marathon that just keeps getting longer and longer", said J Olsen, a firefighter with Central Calaveras Fire and Rescue who worked the Mendocino Complex fire.

Shasta-Trinity National Forest spokeswoman Carol Underhill said she wasn't sure how people apparently escaped the abandoned trucks, but she said crews had been going through and trying to help drivers. "We know what it like to have to leave and come home hoping to have something there".

For the city of Dunsmuir, it's just an evacuation warning, which means residents don't have to leave yet - but should be ready to, just in case. Yellow areas represent the fire perimeter.

Authorities closed a major highway and issued evacuation orders to areas in the path of the expanding conflagration.

On the fire's southeast side, near Riverview, firefighters are planning to use Middle Salt Creek as their southernmost control line.

A representative from the Shasta County Sheriff's Office could no immediately be reached for comment.

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