Update 9/27: Officials have now updated the estimated date to reach full containment to October 5.
The Delta Fire, which erupted in a firestorm that closed Interstate 5 near Shasta Lake and burned four big rigs to the ground, is finally starting to slow to a halt, as firefighters have reached 98 percent containment and expect full containment by Thursday. The fire has burned 60,705 acres and destroyed 20 structures.
The good news has continued to pour in as officials were able to reopen the Castle Crags State Park for camping and day use. The park, which is famous for its incredible rock formations right off I-5 near Castella, has been closed since the fire started on September 5.
Firefighters continued to strengthen the fire line along the southern front of the fire and put out any burning material on the fire’s edge.
“This labor-intensive activity is critical to keeping the fire contained, especially as temperature and wind conditions that support fire growth persist,” a statement from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest read.
They are also constructing small ridges across slopes to divert water that will reduce the erosion and minimize long-term impacts to roads and trails.
When the fire began, it caused a chaotic scene along the I-5 corridor popular for road trippers and truckers. 300-foot flames burned on each side of the freeway, causing motorists to flee for their lives. Luckily, no one was injured in the incident, but the fire ballooned to 15,000 acres in a 24 hour span and, at the time, the prospects of containment looked dim.
The fire eventually joined the lines of the Hirz Fire and broached the charred remains of the Devastating Carr Fire, creating a massive block of burned area around Redding, Shasta Lake and Whiskeytown Lake.
We will continue to update this story.