Wildfire that closed key California highway explodes in size

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A roaring wildfire that has shut down a stretch of a major interstate in a rural area near the California-Oregon border almost doubled in size overnight.

The Delta Fire began on Wednesday afternoon, September 5th in Redding, California near the OR state line.

The Delta Fire has scorched almost 58 square miles since it began near Lake Shasta on Wednesday.

During a community meeting Friday night in Dunsmuir, officials said that the fire was progressing primarily to the northwest but was also "extremely active" along the eastern edge between Interstate 5 and the month-old Hirz Fire. The fire has grown primarily to the north and northwest of Vollmers, burning on both sides of Interstate 5.

The fire, which officials said was human-caused, forced the continued closure of Interstate 5 for almost 50 miles and leaving residents of the mountain areas on edge, ready to flee if necessary.

A 45-mile (72-km) stretch of the I-5, a key north-south route through the entire state, has remained closed since then, requiring traffic detours of up to 120 miles (193 km), officials said. For these, you can zoom in closer to see the Delta Fire specifically.

'It isn't a lot of people, ' he said.

'Whatever occurred here was probably pretty ugly for a while'. About 300 people have evacuated from the area.

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Thursday's blaze along I-5 has blackened 23 square miles, prompting mandatory evacuations.

Firefighters were using natural barriers like roadways and ridges to set up control lines, which will allow them to burn away fuel ahead of the wildfire to slow its growth, Captain Brandon Vaccaro, a spokesman for the Delta fire incident command, said.

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.

"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.

At least two people appear to have lost homes in the fire. The state's firefighting agency, Cal Fire, says it is running out of money in the middle of a busy fire season.

"It's just going to be a mess out there on I-5", Hinkson said in a Facebook Live video from near the fire. Residents were issued an evacuation warning, urging them to be prepared to leave if the fire threatened.

Meanwhile, Amtrak's Coast Starlight service is temporarily delayed from Sacramento to Klamath Falls, Oregon because of the fire, a spokeswoman said.