I-5 Closure Continues, Update Expected This Afternoon

I-5 Closure Continues, Update Expected This Afternoon

By 3 a.m. Saturday at the Green Mountain weather station east of the fire conditions had settled down, with 3 miles per hour north and northeast winds and 32 percent humidity.

The blaze has devoured timber and brush on both sides of Interstate 5 - damaging several big rigs and forcing the closure since Wednesday of a 45-mile stretch of the freeway, which runs between Mexico and Canada.

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

The fire destroyed thousands of trees that could fall onto the highway.

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The fire was initially reported in the Lakehead area, 150 miles (240 kilometers) north of the state capital Sacramento and at the heart of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest around midday on Wednesday.

Trucking companies expect snowstorms in winter to interrupt the flow between California and OR, but a wildfire shutting down Interstate 5 for days wasn't something shippers OR their customers were expecting before Wednesday's Delta fire broke out between Dunsmuir and Shasta Lake. "It's been frantic", Chapman said.

The blaze comes as the area is already grappling with the destruction and trauma from the devastating Carr Fire, which burned over 1,000 homes and led to the deaths of eight people this summer. "They're just stuck, they can't get through and they're sick of waiting around".

The Mendocino fire was expected to be fully contained by Sunday, more than six weeks after it started, officials said.

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Crews are now securing the fire along Dog Creek Road. The Delta Fire and Hirz Fire have both caused mandatory evacuations following overnight growth in both blazes. East of Interstate 5 at Sims Flat, crews are using an existing Hirz Fire contingency line along Sweetbriar Ridge as an indirect control line for the Delta Fire to limit its northeastern spread.

"It's a marathon that just keeps getting longer and longer", said J Olsen, a firefighter with Central Calaveras Fire and Rescue who worked the Mendocino Complex fire.

"You can't underestimate the value of our people getting the opportunity to go over there and practice those skills on these large incidents and bring those skills home for us in the future".

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