MCLELLAN PARK (CBS13) — The Delta Fire has burned more than 5,000 acres in Shasta County. The flames are forcing evacuations and leaving big rigs burnt to a crisp along Interstate 5.
“Oh my gosh, it’s hot, it’s hot, whoa you feel the heat?” Said Laurie Beck in a cell phone video, as she drove past the flames.
Beck and her husband Graham were driving southbound on I-5 when they saw flames on both sides of the freeway. The couple was headed from Oregon to their Bay Area home Wednesday afternoon, just 30 minutes after the Delta Fire began.
“At first, it was just a beautiful sunny day and then the next moment around the next bend, it’s like ‘What is going on here?’” Beck said. “It was surreal.”
The U.S. Fire Service told CBS13 they got the call about the fire around 12:50 p.m. The flames quickly grew around Delta School Road and I-5. Traffic soon came to a halt as I-5 was shut down for a 45-mile stretch, from Fawndale Road north of Redding to Mott Road south of Mount Shasta.
“I was just glad we were there when we were and we were able to get through,” said Graham Beck.
Laurie said she noticed a truckload of hay on fire around 1:30 p.m. Shasta County Sheriff’s deputies began evacuating North of Lakehead to the Shasta-Siskiyou county line.
The Delta Fire is burning about 10 miles away from the Hirz Fire. A Type 1 Team is now handling both at the same time.
“Astonishing,” Graham said. “I had not seen something like that before. A little scary!”
After investigating, the U.S. Forest Service says the cause has gone from unknown to human caused.
CalOES is monitoring the situation but has not been called to help by Shasta County.