Wildfire races across Northern California counties, parts of I-5 closed

Another raging and rapidly growing wildfire this week in Northern California has prompted evacuations, road closings and a massive firefighting response, the U.S. Forest Service said.

The Delta Fire started Wednesday and had expanded to 22,000 acres by Friday morning. Energized by dry and warm conditions and gusty winds, the blaze rapidly moved across grass, timberland and brush.

It is in the same parched region of the state where the Carr Fire killed eight people earlier this summer, destroying more than 1,000 homes and consuming 229,651 acres, according to California fire officials.

More than 1,220 firefighters have been deployed to fight the Delta wildfire. As of early Friday, there was zero percent containment.

The Forest Service said the fire began two miles north of Lakehead in Shasta County and classified the cause as “human.” It is not clear whether the fire was deliberately set or accidentally started.

The sheriff’s offices in Shasta and Trinity counties have issued evacuation orders, and the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office warned some residents to evacuate. All those counties are near southern Oregon.

Portions of Interstate 5 have been shut down because of the fire. It’s a major thoroughfare that extends from the Mexican border in California to the northern border in Washington state.

Structures are threatened, and there are reports of abandoned and burning rigs.

“Fire activity will increase as a dry cold front approaches from the northwest with increased southwest winds,” the Forest Service said in an incident report.