Wildfires Have Charred More Than 1 Million Acres in California This Year

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The fire erupted Wednesday afternoon in a rural area and devoured timber and brush on both sides of Interstate 5 as it almost tripled in size overnight, officials said Thursday.

Additionally, he noted, more resources have been deployed to several new blazes in recent days, including the Sliger Fire in El Dorado County, which by Thursday that had consumed 104 acres and was at 45 percent containment.

California Highway Patrol (CHP) says that the most direct route will take motorists an hour and a half out of the way.

About 17 big-rigs were abandoned and at least four caught fire, Lt. Cmdr.

A major West Coast highway remains closed for a third day as a wildfire continues to rage on forest flanking it in Northern California.

Vaccaro said about 300 people were under mandatory evacuation orders in Shasta and Trinity counties.

The 45-mile (72-kilometer) stretch of highway near the state line with OR has been closed since a fire Wednesday turned hills both sides of the roadway into walls of flame.

The Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, campgrounds and other areas were evacuated Wednesday. And California's fire season is far from over.

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The Shasta County fire moved so fast that it prompted the closure of about 80km of Interstate 5 in both directions. The cause of the fire is not yet known, but was listed as "human"- meaning it could have been accidental or purposely started.

Truckers abandoned their vehicles Wednesday as flames roared up hillsides.

The Delta Fire that erupted Wednesday afternoon and devoured timber and brush on both sides of Interstate 5 near the OR state line had expanded to 23 square miles Thursday (60 square kilometers), prompting mandatory evacuations, the U.S. Forest Service said in a statement.

The U.S. Forest Service said Friday the deadly blaze burning in the Mendocino area since July 27 killed a Utah firefighter, destroyed 157 homes and charred 717 square miles (1860 square kilometers). "Whatever occurred here was probably pretty ugly for a while".

Caltrans said Friday they expect Interstate 5 will remain closed until Sunday, when they will re-assess the situation. Farther north, an evacuation warning was in effect for the picturesque town of Dunsmuir, advising some 1,600 residents to be ready to flee at a moment's notice.

A previous fire this year near Redding and another in the Mendocino area - the two largest blazes in the state this year - destroyed or damaged 8,800 homes and 329 businesses.

Most are either fully contained or close to containment.

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