It was 8 square miles (21 square kilometers) on Wednesday. Further north, dozer line along Middle Ridge is serving as a point for additional defensive firing operations in an effort to protect communities along the I-5 corridor, such as Castella and Dunsmuir.
Fire spokesman Brandon Vacarro says work crews have cleared away burned and abandoned trucks that littered the road after the swift-moving blaze erupted but they must also determine whether charred 70-foot (21-meter) trees along the road are in danger of falling.
About 17 big-rigs were abandoned along the interstate and at least four caught fire, Lt. Cmdr.
The blaze also delayed Amtrak's Coast Starlight train service between Sacramento and Oregon.
He said that while the New Zealanders were packing up to come home, a fire had started up in between two other blazes the crews had just managed to bring under control.
U.S. Forest Service workers helped the driver of one flaming truck to safety and other truckers, firefighters and others aided other drivers, he said. Interstate 5 has been closed in both directions, and mandatory evacuation orders have been issued in Shasta and Siskiyou counties.
The Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, campgrounds and other areas were evacuated Wednesday.
Road Closures Northbound Interstate 5 is closed at the Fawndale exit approximately 10 miles north of Redding.
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The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has responded to 4,587 fires that have destroyed 613,710 acres (248,359 hectares), compared with 4,425 fires that destroyed 233,936 acres (94,671 hectares) through the same period in 2017, according to figures from the agency.
It was a ghost road on Friday morning along a 45-mile stretch that has remained closed since a fire two days earlier swept down and turned hills on either side into walls of flame.
A burned out truck sits along Interstate 5 during the Delta Fire near Delta, Calif.in the Shasta Trinity National Forest on September 6, 2018. "We have been everywhere from the Carr (which destroyed homes in Redding) to the Whaleback (in the Sierra near Susanville), to the Mendocino Complex and more here".
The Delta Fire was just reported on September 5 at almost 1 p.m. near the Vollmers exit on I-5 north of Lakehead, California.
The Delta fire was one of about 15 blazes burning across California this week.
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. By Thursday evening, it had scorched 22,000 acres and was 0% contained.
On the fire's southeast side, near Riverview, firefighters are planning to use Middle Salt Creek as their southernmost control line.