The containment on the Delta Fire remained at just 5 percent on Monday as the fire continued moving north and growing to 47,110 acres. But good news was announced as officials reopened the 45-mile stretch of Interstate 5 that had been closed for nearly six days, with single lane use moving in both directions.
The fire began as a fast-moving firestorm but has recently tempered its growth, giving firefighters the ability to gain some traction and build containment lines. The fire is situated in a very dense forest with steep slopes, making it a nightmare for officials to access the fire lines.
UPDATE: I-5 between Redding and Mt. Shasta is OPEN. Travel is reduced to one lane in each direction for approximately 17 miles. Motorists are asked to drive with caution, obey all traffic control operations and be patient. Lengthy delay. FLAMMABLE VEHICLES ARE NOT ALLOWED.
— Caltrans District 2 (@CaltransD2) September 10, 2018
On Saturday, the Delta Fire merged with the nearby Hirz Fire (95 percent contained), creating what they call a complex fire and allowing officials to form somewhat of a singular form of attack on the two incidents. Combined, the two fires cover 95,000 acres on the north and northwest side of Shasta Lake.
As the fire moves north, residents of Dunsmuir and Castella are on high alert for the prospect of evacuations. Any change in winds and weather can stoke the fire and push it quickly towards the communities. Meanwhile, the fire continues to burn through the popular fishing areas of the Upper Sacramento River. The fire is also approaching the area of the beloved Castle Crags State Park.
It remains to be seen whether the fire will move south and join the fire lines of the Carr Fire, which is 100 percent contained. If the three fires joined together, it would cover a 325,000 acre burned area.
While I-5 has reopened, you can expect lengthy delays on the drive. Vehicles are being asked to drive with caution and obey all traffic operations.
Northern California’s Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine