Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Crews at work to protect Trinity structures from Delta fire

The fire shut down miles of Interstate 5 and there was no immediate word on when it would reopen AP The fire shut down miles of Interstate 5 and there was no immediate word on when it would reopen
Jay Anderson | 11 September, 2018, 03:02

The Snell Fire was only 10 percent contained.

We will update when the highway is reopened.

The highway that traverses the West Coast from Mexico to Canada and serves as a main artery for commerce had been closed since Wednesday, forcing trucks and other traffic on smaller roads that has added 100 miles (160 kilometers) to their journeys.

Firefighters were also tired, moving from one major blaze to another, battling one of the last outbreaks of wildfires in California history.

Patience was running thin at the Pilot Travel Center in the town of Weed, near the northern end of the closure.

Almost 300 homes were considered threatened, but the blaze was not burning near any large towns, fire spokesman Brandon Vacarro said.

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.




Flames from a backfire burn around a fire truck battling the Delta Fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. "A lot of the truckers are upset".

"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. "We have been everywhere from the Carr (which destroyed homes in Redding) to the Whaleback (in the Sierra near Susanville), to the Mendocino Complex and more here".

Underhill didn't know how many homes were evacuated, since she said it's a rural area with scattered residences.

One of the New Zealand firefighters, Wipari Henwood, said crews would often work 16 hour days in gruelling conditions.

Dubbed the Delta Fire, the blaze was the latest outbreak to hit the region this summer, and was said by officials to have been triggered by arson. It was only fully contained last week.

Crews managed to remove the burned hulks and abandoned rigs on Thursday but flames continued to burn along the edge of the road in some areas, fire spokesman Brandon Vacarro said.

The Forest Service did not release containment figures but California Highway Patrol Officer Jason Morton says the blaze is zero percent contained and still burning along Interstate 5.

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