Delta Fire quickly grows to 5000 acres, east of Hirz Fire footprint

The fire shut down miles of Interstate 5 and there was no immediate word on when it would reopen

Read on to see interactive maps of the fire along with the latest details on the fire's size, containment, and evacuations.

The key interstate was closed from 16 kilometers (10 miles) north of Redding to an area just south of Mount Shasta.

The Delta fire was one of about 15 blazes burning across California this week.

The fire was caused by human activity, but no additional details are now known.

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office is conducting evacuations on both sides of I-5 north of Lakehead to the Shasta-Siskiyou county line.

This is a developing story.

Google Maps continues to update the California fire map with information about fires to which the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is responding, along with information about evacuations and road closures.

The fire that erupted Wednesday afternoon north of the town of Lakehead and devoured timber and brush on both sides of Interstate 5 near the OR state line had expanded to 23 square miles (15,294 acres) Thursday, prompting mandatory evacuations, the U.S. Forest Service said in a statement.

Northbound I-5 is now closed at Fawndale Road, north of Redding.

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.

The Delta Fire continued to grow aggressively throughout the evening and overnight with a large flaming front and flame lengths estimated at 300 feet high.

An evacuation shelter is available at Mount Shasta Community Center at 629 Alder Street in Mount Shasta. By 6:00 p.m., it had grown to 2,000 acres.

Either way, by Wednesday evening the fire had consumed nearly 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.

He wrote that fires caused by "climate change driven extreme weather conditions" have triggered massive spending across the state. To stop the fire's northern spread and protect structures east of Interstate 5, firefighters have started a backfiring operation off a road that runs east from Pollard Flats to Hirz Fire's western side near Salt Creek Road. There is now no ETO for I-5 in the area.

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