I-5 closed north of Redding due to 2,000-acre fire threatening structures

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Thursday, September 6, 2018
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A 2,000-acre fire burning near I-5 north of Redding is threatening structures in the area.

REDDING, Calif. (KGO) -- thousands of motorists were trapped on Interstate 5 as a fast-moving fire burned dangerously close to passing cars. The freeway was closed in both directions near Redding as flames broke out this afternoon. A huge plume of smoke could be seen from above while those near the flames feared for their lives.

"Look at that side just caught on fire we cannot stay right here! We can't stay right here baby. We've got to walk!" screamed Narraf Elesse, who posted her harrowing experience on Instagram.

It's been named the Delta Fire and so far, flames are not burning near large towns but it is threatening a number of cabins and campgrounds.

VIDEO: Close encounter with wildfire burning next to I-5 near Redding caught on camera

The Shasta County Fire Department is conducting evacuations on both sides of I-5, which is closed about 10 miles north of Redding to an area just south of Mount Shasta. Julio Vega was stuck in the traffic. We spoke to him via Skype.

"It felt like it was coming to us so some of the guys that were in front of us, I don't know like five or ten trucks in front of us were closer to it, they had to drop their trailers and turn around," said Vega.

The U.S. Forest Service has launched a full aircraft and ground response. 600 firefighters have been called in.

This fire comes just weeks after the Carr Fire. That destroyed nearly 1,100 homes and killed eight people in the same area. It was was declared contained just last week.

Get the latest stories and videos on wildfires burning across California, here.

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Hummer Estes watches a helicopter battling the Hat Fire, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Fall River Mills, Calif. (John Locher/AP Photo)
John Locher/AP Photo