Dozens of miles of Interstate 5 have been shut down in California this week due to a major wildfire ravaging the trees on both side of the interstate.
The Delta Fire began on Wednesday afternoon, September 5th in Redding, California near the Oregon state line.
Officials say that the fire was human-caused but have not disclosed whether it is believed to have been an act of arson or simply an accident. Either way, by Wednesday evening the fire had consumed almost 8 square miles of forest on either side of I-5, growing so close to the interstate that truckers and motorists alike began abandoning their vehicles and fleeing the area on foot, reported Fox News.
“We gotta walk babe. We can’t stay right here,” exclaimed one motorist in a video recording the wall of flames growing closer and closer to the highway full of vehicles at a standstill. At least four tractor trailers caught fire along the stretch of I-5 and 17 big rigs were simply abandoned in the roadway.
— Jaclyn Cosgrove (@jaclyncosgrove) September 6, 2018
There’s vehicles scattered all over,” said Brandon Vaccaro with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
“Whatever occurred here was probably pretty ugly for a while.”
According to the California Department of Transportation, as of 10:40 a.m. Thursday morning, more than 45 miles of Interstate 5 remained closed due to the fire – from 10 miles north of Redding at Fawndale Road in Shasta County to 3.6 miles south of Mount Shasta at Mott Road in Siskiyou County.
The fire was last described as exhibiting “critical behavior” by “burning fiercely” and “moving rapidly,” and at 10:15 a.m. Thursday morning, was covering 15,294 acres of land.