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Interstate to stay closed amid California fire

11 September 2018

California's largest freeway, Interstate 5, remained closed, but Vaccaro said California Highway Patrol and other organizations were discussing when to reopen it. There were some reports that homes had burned but he could only confirm that an outbuilding and two mixed-use commercial and residential buildings had been damaged.

Firefighters are working to strengthen and improve a control line on Middle Ridge, which will offer an opportunity to conduct defensive back burning operations and hold the fire from spreading further north along the Interstate 5 corridor.

More than 6,000 wildfires have hit the U.S. state of California this year, burning an area of 580,100 hectares (1,435,263 acres) and causing damages worth more than $2.56bn, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the National Interagency Fire Center.

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.

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Interstate 5 usually swarms with trucks and traffic as it winds its way through California.

The fire has chewed through 150 square kilometres of timber since Wednesday. Relative humidities will lower into the 10-19 percent range.

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

The Delta Fire was burning in timber and brush in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in a canyon along the Sacramento River. Parked big rigs lined the roads surrounding the facility. "It's been frantic", Chapman said. "They're just stuck, they can't get through and they're sick of waiting around".

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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.

The Carr fire has gone on to ravage 1000 homes and has killed at least seven people, while the Mendocino has been declared the largest in state history, having burnt through nearly 300,000 acres of land.

On September 9, the Delta fire was burning over 40,000 acres and was 5 percent contained.

More than 1,500 people have been deployed to combat the fire, which was expected to push further north in the next 24 hours, authorities said.

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Interstate to stay closed amid California fire