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California fire season may extend into autumn, officials say

California fire season may extend into autumn, officials say

A long stretch of Interstate 5 (I-5), a major highway that runs the length of the West Coast from Canada to Mexico, was closed to prevent motorists from being trapped by the blaze.

Trucks and other traffic are using a smaller road that has added 100 miles or more to the journey.

Also in the photo, the large red blob to the right is the location of the still-burning Hirz Fire.

This is a U.S. Forest Service photograph of the Delta Fire.

"It's fairly common to have California experience this level of fire activity in the fall, but it's not usually the entire state", she said.

The fire has chewed through 58 square miles (150 square kilometers) of timber since Wednesday.

Patience was running thin at the Pilot Travel Center in the town of Weed, near the northern end of the closure. They said the fire is burning close to the highway, guard rails are destroyed, and thousands of trees pose a hazard of falling into the roadway.

"It's been ridiculously congested".

Jessica Gardetto, a spokeswoman for the National Interagency Fire Center, told the newspaper that wildfires are likely to grow and become more hard to contain.

The Mendocino Complex Fire, which was active for over 35 days, burned more than 186,000 hectares (459,000 acres), making it the largest complex fire in the state's history.

"They had a lot of ground troops- they just didn't have many people to manage them, so our people were in charge of crews", he said.

California has been hit with one massive blaze after another over the summer, including a blaze not far from the Delta Fire that last month burned about 1,100 homes and killed eight people.

In Northern California, the Delta fire - which forced the closure of a stretch of Interstate 5, which runs the length of the state - had consumed almost 37,000 acres as of Saturday, the newspaper reported.

A crew of 34 firefighters have touched down in New Zealand after spending nearly six weeks battling wildfires in California.

Two "soft closures" have been established in areas of the blaze, now 5 percent contained, affecting the communities of Lakehead and Dunsmuir with certain conditions but the interagency fire management team notes that "visitors and tourists will not be granted access".


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