SHASTA COUNTY (CBS SF) — A wildfire burning in Shasta County that forced the temporary closure of Interstate Highway 5 and prompted a number of evacuations has grown to over 4,500 acres, fire officials said Thursday afternoon.
The Salt Fire was burning in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest just east of I-5 near the Salt Creek Road and Gilman Road exit, south of Lakehead and north of Redding.READ MORE: UPDATE: Investigation Underway Into Fatal Freeway Shooting On I-580 In Oakland
The latest update from the U.S. Forest Service shortly before 4:30 p.m. indicated the fire has burned at least 4,500 acres and was zero percent contained.
While I-5 remained open in both directions, the explosive growth of the fire was causing some lane closures. According to Caltrans, there were some lane closures in place that are impacting the flow of traffic.
“On northbound I-5, the #2 and #3 lanes are closed from Gilman Road to just south of Antlers. On southbound I-5, the #3 lane is closed from Antlers Bridge to approximately two miles north of Gilman Road,” a recent update from Caltrans read.
— Ben Wu (@BenWu2) July 1, 2021
The highway, which was filled with holiday travelers, was fully reopened at around 8:15 a.m. Thursday.
“There are evacuations in place along Gregory Creek, Road and portions of Lakehead have been placed under an evacuation warning,” said US Forest Service spokesman Mark Thibeideau.
Evacuation orders were in place for: Zola Drive, Cordes Court, and Solus Campground Road, Tom Head, Old Mill Road, Antlers View Road and Toms Head Road. An evacuation center was set up at Central Valley High School. Residents of Gregory Creek Road were advised to shelter in place or go to Gregory Creek Beach.READ MORE: COVID: Bay Area Health Officials, Schools Prepare To Vaccinate Kids 5-11 As Authorization Looms
The evacuation warning for the Lakehead area was for the area east of I-5 to Riverview Drive. An evacuation warning was also issued for Fenders Ferry Road between I-5 and Gilman Road.
“We did have spotting across Interstate 5 yesterday,” Thibeideau. “It’s a dynamic situation. There could be closures at any point in time.”
Thibeideau said the objective Thursday is to try to keep fire east of I-5.
Crews were still in the initial attack phase of the response and had not begun to assess containment, forest service spokesperson Adrienne Freeman said Wednesday night.
— Blakely McHugh (@bmchughtv) July 1, 2021
The fire was first reported around 1:40 p.m. The Shasta-Trinity National Forest is the lead agency handling the fire with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection assisting.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the fire was human-caused but additional details were not immediately available.MORE NEWS: COVID: Muni To Suspend 'Short' Line Service Citing Vaccine Mandate Staffing Issues