Thursday, September 6, 2018

UPDATE: Delta Fire Explodes in Size: Closure of I-5 Impacting SR 299

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2018 at 12:19 PM

click to enlarge Delta Fire closes down a stretch of I-5. - CHP
  • CHP
  • Delta Fire closes down a stretch of I-5.
UPDATE:
CHP in Redding posted on Facebook that there is currently no estimated time for Interstate 5 to reopen, reiterating that the agency understands the importance of the roadway but public safety is its No. 1 priority.

“At this time, we do not have an estimated time of opening. There are several debris in the roadway which have to be removed, bridges to inspect, guardrail to repair, signs to inspect,” the post states. “Please know we are trying our hardest. We want to ensure it is safe to open before it is opened to traffic.”

PREVIOUSLY:
The rapidly growing Delta Fire reportedly began yesterday just before 1 p.m. as three separate fires near the Vollmers exit on Interstate 5 at the north end of Shasta Lake. The fires combined into an inferno that burned quickly over a large area – 15,294 acres as of this morning.

With a 45-mile stretch of Interstate 5 shut down on the northbound side from Fawndale Road north of Redding and southbound at Mott Road, north of Dunsmuir, due to the blaze, Caltrans is cautioning drivers to expect heavier than normal traffic on State Route 299 between Weaverville and Redding.

For up-to-date traffic information, visit http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov.

InciWeb reports that fire behavior was extreme “with rapid rates of spread up to one mile per hour…observed. The fire front was up to three miles wide on the northern side with approximately 300-foot flame lengths.”

Jefferson Public Radio report that residents in the area are posting photos of a pyrocumulus cloud — also known as a fire cloud — which can create a turbulent atmosphere inside that results in a self-generated thunderstorm. A similar phenomenon occurred in the Carr Fire, which would go on to spawn a massive fire whirl that killed a firefighter and caused a swath of damage with winds up to 165 miles and a base the size of three-football fields.



This morning the US Forest Service is reporting, “The fire has grown primarily to the north and northwest of Vollmers, burning on both sides of Interstate 5…[T]he Shasta County Sheriff’s Office is coordinating evacuations for areas affected by the incident.”

According to the US Forest Service:
“Crews have worked to anchor the south end of the fire along Dog Creek. To stop the fire’s northern spread and protect structures east of Interstate 5, firefighters have started a backfiring operation off a road that runs east from Pollard Flats to Hirz Fire’s western side near Salt Creek Road. Many of the eastern Hirz Fire contingency lines may be used in the efforts to control the Delta Fire. …

Dozers are being mobilized to construct fuel breaks and control lines north of the fire front to assist with protecting life and property. Aircraft will be used extensively for water and retardant drops in order to assist with protecting values at risk and slowing the fire’s progression.”
click to enlarge A shot of the Delta Fire on Sept. 5. - CALTRANS DISTRICT 2
  • Caltrans District 2
  • A shot of the Delta Fire on Sept. 5.
Evacuation Information
According to InciWeb, “Numerous structures are threatened, and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office has issued mandatory evacuations for residents along the Interstate 5 corridor from exit 707 at Vollmers north to exit 714 at Gibson. Follow the Shasta County Sheriff’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Shasta-County-Sheriffs-Office-1527637610823075/.”

InciWeb also states an evacuation center is open at Mt. Shasta Community Center, located at 629 Alder St. in Mt. Shasta.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office has issued an evacuation warning for all residents of Dunsmuir. Call the 24-Hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900 or the Dunsmuir Substation at (530) 235-2320 or 235-2232 with questions. Follow the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SiskiyouCountySheriff.

The Mount Shasta Humane Society is accepting small animals for evacuees using the evacuation shelter. The humane society is at 1208 North Mount Shasta Blvd. (530-926-4052).

The Weather
According to InciWeb, “Weather will continue to be hot and dry with gusty winds that have the possibility to increase fire behavior.”

The Roads
Release from CHP-Redding:
We are receiving huge number of calls asking about I-5. We understand this is a major route of travel through California. Caltrans District 2 and CHP are working as quickly and safely as possible to get it open. At this time, we do not have an estimated time of opening. There are several debris in the roadway which have to be removed, bridges to inspect, guardrail to repair, signs to inspect. Please know we are trying our hardest. We want to ensure it is safe to open before it is opened to traffic. Please check the link below for updated Fire Details.

INFO FROM USFS SITE:
The Delta Fire continued to grow aggressively throughout the evening and overnight with a large flaming front and flame lengths estimated at 300 feet high. The fire has grown primarily to the north and northwest of Vollmers, burning on both sides of Interstate 5. Life safety is a top priority for firefighters, and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office is coordinating evacuations for areas affected by the incident. Crews have worked to anchor the south end of the fire along Dog Creek. To stop the fire’s northern spread and protect structures east of Interstate 5, firefighters have started a backfiring operation off a road that runs east from Pollard Flats to Hirz Fire’s western side near Salt Creek Road. Many of the eastern Hirz Fire contingency lines may be used in the efforts to control the Delta Fire.
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6191/
Editor's note: This report first appeared on www.kymkemp.com and is reposted here with permission.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

About The Author

Kym Kemp

Bio:
Kym Kemp is the editor and publisher of the news website Redheaded Blackbelt at www.kymkemp.com.

Latest in News Blog

© 2018 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation