U.S. Forest Service workers helped the driver of one flaming truck to safety and other truckers, firefighters and others aided other drivers, he said. Motorists were advised to use an alternate route and avoid the area, according to the United States Forest Service.
He said the winding, mountain roads funnel to one lane each way at many points, and traffic often slows to 1 miles per hour. By 6:00 p.m., it had grown to 2,000 acres. That road will then take you to I-5 in South Redding.
The fire shut down miles of Interstate 5 and there was no immediate word on when it would reopen. Northbound at Fawndale Rd. and southbound at Mott Rd. It's unclear when the lanes will reopen.
"It took us to the 89 to the 299, but it was bad", Martinez told CBS13.
The underbrush is being removed with a combination of bulldozers and hand tools, as well as controlled burning operations, Captain Brandon Vaccaro, a spokesman for the Delta fire incident command, said. "Whatever occurred here was probably pretty ugly for a while".
The fire is located two miles north of Lakehead, California.
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.
Authorities planned to keep I-5 closed throughout the night.
It was near the site of the Carr Fire, which led to eight deaths and destroyed hundreds of homes in the city of Redding and nearby areas.
Several vehicles have been destroyed on I-5, including at least two large trucks. Their families set up accounts for them on the crowdfunding site, GoFundMe.
Truck driver Amit Sekhri said he saw flames and slowing vehicles along the freeway on Wednesday but his big-rig was too large to turn around and he decided against parking and fleeing on foot.
"We just kept driving, kept going behind traffic all the way", Martinez said.
The blaze in California's Shasta-Trinity National Forest was burning out of control Saturday with crews scrambling to prevent it from reaching mountain communities.
Steinberg says they were mesmerized by the fire, but eventually realized the danger it presented. They later revised the affected streets to those along I-5 from Exit 707 to Exit 714.
The so called Delta Fire has burned more than 34 square miles (88 square kilometers) and prompted evacuation orders for scattered homes and buildings in three counties in and around Shasta-Trinity National Forest. According to the Sheriff's Office, an evacuation center will be opening at the Mt. Shasta Community Center, located at 629 Alder St.in Mt. Shasta. Residents were issued an evacuation warning, urging them to be prepared to leave if the fire threatened.
It was a ghost road along a 45-mile stretch where fire swept down two days earlier and turned hills on either side into walls of flame.
The blaze also delayed Amtrak's Coast Starlight train service between Sacramento and Oregon.
Other businesses in the affected area carried on, though.
Caltrans said Friday they expect Interstate 5 will remain closed until Sunday, when they will re-assess the situation.
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