Air response quick to the fire line as firefighters work to hold the Delta Fire

Firefighters working on the Delta Fire in norther Shasta County

Air response was called out first thing Wednesday morning to help with firing operations on the Delta Fire, burning in Northern Shasta and Trinity Counties. Fire officials say northern Shasta County can expect more containment, if the day's operations go as planned.

Wednesday morning helicopter crews drew continuous loads of water from Shotgun Creek in Sims as part of a direct attack on the east and west ridges boarding Interstate-5, where the Delta Fire continues to burn.

"We're bringing direct fire line down a [bull]dozer line and trying to tie it in with another piece of dozer line we have above the community of Highland," Division Chief, Mave Juarez said night crews made a great deal of progress on the fire and now the next shift has the obligation of seeing it through.

Juarez said much of their firefight is being done in deep canyons and firefighters have been battling strong winds. "It's really hard to predict what the winds are going to do because of the topography. That really affects our fire behavior."

Due to strong winds, Juarez explained air response was a top priority Wednesday morning.

"First thing this morning we requested as many aircraft as possibly that we could get up before we even got here to start pre-treating the ridge lines, so putting water and retardant down along the fuels to cool the edges down so we can slowly bring fire down and be more controlled."

The Division Supervisor, handling "Yankee Yankee," which is the north east portion of the Delta Fire, said if their operations are successful, despite strong winds, it will play a large role in containment for the area just north of Lakehead.

"If we complete this piece today, this is a huge step forward for the fire. It really ties in this piece of the fire line and protects the community of Sims," Juarez added.

I-5 will remain open as firefighters work hard to contain the surrounding ridge lines. Crews have a back up contingency line set in place south of Sims Road.

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