Interstate 5 through the Delta Fire area north of Redding was scheduled to open at 8:30 a.m. Monday with restrictions.
As stated in a Caltrans press release, the highway will be open to through travel with one lane in each direction for approximately 17 miles between Antlers Bridge in Lakehead and Flume Creek Road south of Dunsmuir. The following restrictions apply:
• The roadway will be reduced to one lane in each direction for 17 miles.
• No potential flammable vehicles will be allowed. This includes any vehicles carrying hay, wood chips, lumber, logs and other loads deemed flammable when screened. All potentially flammable vehicles will be screened northbound at Fawndale Road and southbound at Mott Road and will be redirected to alternate routes if necessary.
The highway had been closed since the start of the Delta Fire last Wednesday. The opening was announced Monday morning by Caltrans District 2 in cooperation with the California Highway Patrol, the US Forest Service, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office.
Caltrans states in the release that travel is for through traffic only, and all ramps to and from the freeway within the fire damaged area will be staffed by the California Highway Patrol and Caltrans.
“Motorists should anticipate long lines of vehicles and long delays,” according to Caltrans. “Please be prepared by making sure your car is fully fueled and in proper running condition, that you have food and water, a charger for your phone and any other essentials you may need during a long wait.”
The Delta Fire was at 40,903 acres and 5% containment Monday morning and, as stated in a Caltrans press release, “Officials from all agencies involved in the response to this fire have determined that the freeway is safe for travel, with potential closures at any time due to fire activity or emergency need.
Alternate routes, as suggested by Caltrans:
Traveling south on I-5 from Mt. Shasta
• Take SR 89 to take westbound SR 299 to SR 3 to Redding. Estimated to take 3 hours with grid-lock traffic speeds, or
• Take southbound SR 89, to westbound SR 44, into Redding. Estimated to take up to 2 hours with moderate traveling speeds.
Travelling north on I-5 from Redding
• Take eastbound SR 299 to northbound SR 89 then travelers may choose to take northbound SR 89 to Mount Shasta. Estimated to take up to 3 hours with grid-lock traffic speeds, or
• Take eastbound SR 299, to northbound SR 139 at Canby, to westbound SR 161 to Dorris, to southbound US 97 to Weed, and then back onto Northbound I-5, an estimate of up to 5 hours at free flow traveling speeds.
For the most current information, please call our hotline at 530-225-3452 or visit Facebook at Caltrans District 2 or Twitter @caltransD2.