A stretch of a major highway near the California-Oregon border will remain closed through the weekend as crews try to tame a roaring wildfire burning on both sides of the north-south route, authorities announced today.
As fall - usually California's busiest fire season - approaches, officials say the agency that oversees emergency fire responses is running out of money.
A nearby fire in the Redding area burned some 1,100 homes and killed eight people last month.
The cause of the fire is not yet known, but was listed as "human"- meaning it could have been accidental or purposely started.
The fast-moving fire forced truck drivers to abandon their rigs on the highway.
Drivers fled in terror and several big rigs burned on Wednesday as the fire erupted on both sides of the route.
Evacuations are being managed by the Shasta County Sheriff's Office.
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. Areas east of Trinity River from Trinity Lake to Ramshorn Road are under advisory evacuation notice.
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The Boot Fire near Walker and Bridgeport has burned 6,706 acres and reached 3 percent containment as of Thursday morning, reported the U.S. Forest Service.
"The worst may be yet to come", Commissioner David Jones warned at a San Francisco news conference, noting California wildfires are typically more destructive after September 1.
Fire trucks pass the Delta Fire burning in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018.
The fire erupted on Wednesday afternoon in a rural area and devoured timber and brush on both sides of Interstate 5 as it almost tripled in size overnight, officials said.
The blaze spread "aggressively" overnight, with flames as high as 300 feet, the forest service said in a statement.
"There's vehicles scattered all over", said Brandon Vaccaro with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The Delta Fire continues to impacting traffic in Shasta County today.
He drove northbound on Highway 89 Thursday night, but delayed is trip back to West Sacramento until Friday because of the traffic.
Chris Losi, a spokesman for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, said rural homes and cabins in and around the forest were under evacuation orders, from the community Lakehead north to the Siskiyou County line. It was only fully contained last week.
The U.S. Forest Service says in a statement Friday the blaze is now 38 square miles (98 square kilometers).