California wildfire shuts I-5, prompts new evacuations
REDDING, Calif. (AP) -- Both directions of a major highway connecting California and Oregon were closed and evacuations were ordered Wednesday when a fast-moving wildfire swept through a wilderness area.
The blaze in Shasta County was reported during the afternoon and within hours had charred 3 square miles (7.7 square kilometers) of brush and timber in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest about 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of San Francisco.
Footage posted by KRCR-TV of Redding showed roaring flames and plumes of dark smoke as some trucks and cars were left abandoned on the side of Interstate 5.
The key interstate was closed from 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of Redding to an area just south of Mount Shasta. The Delta Fire was not immediately burning near large towns but was threatening a number of structures in an area of campgrounds, recreational residences and cabins, forest spokeswoman Kerry Greene said.
It comes just weeks after a devastating fire destroyed nearly 1,100 homes and killed eight people in the same area. That blaze, the Carr fire, was declared contained just last week.
Meanwhile, a forest fire in California's eastern Sierra Nevada continued to grow and impacts on travel were increasing, officials said.
State Route 108 was closed from the Alpine-Mono county line to U.S. 395, which was already shut down in the mountainous region about 200 miles (320 kilometers) east of Sacramento, the California Department of Transportation said.
Additional firefighting resources were summoned as the blaze grew to more than 4 square miles (11.6 square kilometers).
The U.S. 395 closure extended from the town of Bridgeport to just south of the community of Walker, Caltrans said.
The Boot Fire began Tuesday in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Evacuation orders remained in place for the Bootleg, Chris Flat and Sonora Bridge campgrounds. Unspecified structures were threatened in the Burchum Flats area east of Walker Canyon.