No containment yet on fast-moving California wildfire


Caltrans said Friday they expect Interstate 5 will remain closed until Sunday, when they will re-assess the situation.

Meanwhile crews near California's border with Nevada gained minimal containment of another wildfire that closed highways on the edge of the Sierra Nevada.

Firefighters battled on Saturday to outflank a wildfire that has forced the closure of an interstate highway in Northern California as the blaze swept through explosively dry mountain timber in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest for a fourth day. Officials have issued a warning to residents of potential evacuation, although the fire was about 15 miles away on Friday afternoon. The cause of the fire is not yet known, but was listed as "human"- meaning it could have been accidental or purposely started.

It was near the site of the Carr Fire, which led to eight deaths and destroyed hundreds of homes in the city of Redding and nearby areas.

Some flames reached 300 feet in height, according to a U.S. Forest Service incident report.

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During the next month, California is expected to see above-normal fire activity after a hot summer dried out grasses that grew long thanks to the state's brief reprieve from drought. "Whatever occurred here was probably pretty ugly for a while".

Back in the towns, he said he and the other New Zealanders had been unprepared for the support and generosity of locals, some of whom would have lost homes or known friends and family who had.

'Everyone got out safe but there is nothing left.

- The Delta Fire continues to burn on both sides of Interstate-5 near the Vollmers Exit north of Lakehead, in Shasta County.

The road remained closed through Wednesday night and there was no immediate word on when the lanes would reopen.

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Amtrak delayed its Coast Starlight service from Sacramento to OR because of the fire. Further north, dozer line along Middle Ridge is serving as a point for additional defensive firing operations in an effort to protect communities along the I-5 corridor, such as Castella and Dunsmuir.

"People are packing right now, just to be ready in case", he said.

Although the fire wasn't burning near any large towns, fire spokesman Brandon Vacarro said about 280 homes were considered threatened.

Total personnel assigned to the Delta fire number 1,869.

A previous fire this year near Redding and another in the Mendocino area - the two largest blazes in the state this year - destroyed or damaged 8,800 homes and 329 businesses. It was only fully contained last week.

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