SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Delta Fire continues to impacting traffic in Shasta County today. But truck drivers headed through Sacramento felt the long delays as Interstate 5 remains closed.
“Right now, I’m staying here and probably not leaving until tomorrow morning,” said Juan Martinez, who drives food products up and down the West Coast.
CalTrans says the closure is expected to last throughout the weekend. But accidents on the 60-mile detour around the interstate have brought traffic to a halt.
“It took us to the 89 to the 299, but it was terrible,” Martinez told CBS13. “It was a 5 hour drive!”
And that was only on part of his southbound journey from Oregon to Southern California. He said traffic slowed as the detour only had one lane each way through Shasta Trinity National Forest.
“We just kept driving, kept going behind traffic all the way,” Martinez said.
But with a truck full of refrigerated food and several deliveries to make, pulling over wasn’t an option for him.
“We gotta do what we gotta do,” he said.
“I go up and down the 5 all the time,” said Kevin Singh, who works for Capital Express Lines in West Sacramento. “It’s crazy right now.”
He drove northbound on Highway 89 Thursday night, but delayed is trip back to West Sacramento until Friday because of the traffic.
“I went to sleep and woke up and came back,” Singh said.
“I feel for them because I’ve been there,” said driver Valerie Williams. “Your truck is your house. It’s everything!”
Even inside of the truck, Singh had to cover his mouth due to the smoke from the Delta Fire.
“I could barely see and like if I went outside, I couldn’t even breathe,” he said.
He told CBS13 he’s taking a break this afternoon from driving car parts and other products up the coast. And even when he’s back on the clock with a truck full of goods, he’s not risking the journey back until the coast is clear.
“Gotta be safe first, because let me tell you one thing, no load is worth your life,” Singh said.
Caltrans officials say they’re concerned about large trees destroyed in the fire that would fall onto to the freeway. They’ll decide on Sunday if the closure will continue into next week.