A roaring wildfire that shut down a stretch of a major interstate near the California-Oregon border exploded in size as crews on Saturday scrambled to prevent flames from reaching rural communities.
The blaze in California’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest was burning out of control after chewing through 58 square miles (150 square kilometers) of timber and brush since Wednesday.
Aircraft were temporarily prevented from making water and retardant drops because heavy smoke was trapped under cloud cover, making for limited visibility for pilots.
Firefighters working in rugged terrain were contending with hot temperatures and gusty winds.
Authorities announced Friday that a 45-mile (72-kilometer) section of Interstate 5 north of Redding would remain closed at least until Sunday.
The fire has destroyed thousands of trees — some 70 feet (20 meters) tall — that could fall onto the highway that traverses the entire West Coast from Mexico to…