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A fast-moving wildfire that started Wednesday in Shasta County has swelled to 5,000 acres in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, prompting the closure of Interstate 5 in both directions.
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The Delta Fire, which is burning near I-5 by the Vollmers exit north of Lakehead, had topped 2,000 acres in only a few hours, according to officials at Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Then shortly before 10 p.m., the U.S. Forest service reported the fire had grown to 5,000 acres. The fire, which started around 1 p.m. Wednesday, is burning primarily timber and bush along the I-5 corridor, and is reported as having a “critical rate of spread”, according to Joe Orosz, public affairs specialist at the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
The interstate is closed from 10 miles north of Redding at Fawndale Road to 4 miles south of Mount Shasta at Mott Road, according to Caltrans. Motorists are advised to choose alternate routes. Evacuations have been ordered for areas north of Lakehead, according to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office. An evacuation center has been set up at the Mt. Shasta Community Center at 629 Alder St.
Media reports say vehicles including tractor-trailers, which were abandoned as flames grew closer, have burned on the interstate.
Orosz said multiple agencies are responding – many are coming straight from the Hirz Fire, which is burning just east of the Delta Fire, less than three miles away. The fire is being managed by the California Interagency Management Team 5, who is also managing the Hirz Fire.