California wildfires: What new fires are burning now and where are they?

California wildfire shuts down major interstate highway

An explosive wildfire that closed down dozens of miles of a major California freeway almost tripled in size overnight, just weeks after a nearby blaze that left neighborhoods in ruins and killed eight people, officials said Thursday.

State Route 108 was closed from the Alpine-Mono county line to US 395, which was already shut down in the mountainous region about 320 kilometers (200 miles) east of Sacramento, the California Department of Transportation said.

Fire officials say they don't expect to have containment of the fire, which started on Wednesday, until at least September 22.

The Shasta County fire moved so fast that it prompted the closure of about 80km of Interstate 5 in both directions.

Fire officials feared that once the inversion layer sitting over the fire cleared, the blaze would once again explode through the mountainous forest region, heading farther north toward Gibson, east toward Greens Mountain and west toward Damnation Peak. Vehicles, including numerous trucks, were stalled on the highway on Thursday as flames burned trees and leapt over the road.

California has been badly hit by forest fires in a hot and dry summer season, including the biggest fire in the western state's history, as well as many other major blazes that left more than a dozen people dead.

The blaze also delayed Amtrak's Coast Starlight service between Sacramento and Oregon.

The fire is in a rural area with scattered homes. Cal Fire continues to battle the Ranch Fire, which has ravaged 410,203 acres - an area larger than Los Angeles - and is 98 percent contained.

Officials must first determine if it's safe to resume travel on a 45-mile (72-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 5 near the OR state line.

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"They had a lot of ground troops- they just didn't have many people to manage them, so our people were in charge of crews", he said.

Interstate 5, the primary north/south highway in Northern California, is closed from 10 miles north of Redding at Fawndale Road to 3 miles south of Mount Shasta at Mott Road.

Along a section of California's busy I-5 freeway Thursday, crews removed the burned out remains of several big rigs that fell prey to the destructive blast of the Delta Fire.

"The fire progressed primarily to the northwest, but it is also extremely active along the eastern edge between Interstate 5 and the Hirz Fire", according to the US Forest Service.

The area includes about 25 homes, and the fire is about a mile away from the main group of structures and a little over a mile from Alpen Cellars, he said.

This is a U.S. Forest Service photograph of the Delta Fire.

"Siskiyou County Evacuations: The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office has issued an evacuation warning for all residents of Dunsmuir".

One of the two blazes was fully contained in August and residents have been allowed to return home.

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