Crews are battling the Kennedy Fire, which was sparked just before noon on Thursday when a big rig struck an SUV head-on on Highway 299 in the area of Whiskeytown National Recreation area and flames spread to nearby vegetation.
Update, 5 p.m.
Traffic is slowly moving again on Highway 299, west of Redding, after a fatal head-on crash sparked a fire near Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.
The Kennedy Fire grew to 35 acres as of 5 p.m. Thursday, up from 25 acres at 1:30 p.m., according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
One-way traffic controls are in place, the California Department of Transportation said. Traffic is moving, with a pilot car leading each way, on the stretch of highway between "Old Shasta" and the Whiskeytown Visitor's Center.
"Please proceed through the area with caution," the Shasta County Sheriff's Office warned.
Update, 1:25 p.m.
The driver of a SUV that collided head-on with a big rig was killed Thursday afternoon, Sgt. Tim Hinkson of the CHP said.
Hinkson said the semi-truck driver was injured, but he did not know the extent of the injuries.
Meanwhile, the fire that spread from the fiery collision has grown to 25 acres, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported.
Update, 12:55 p.m.
The California Highway Patrol has confirmed that one person is dead after a head-on collision on Highway 299 west of Redding.
The fiery wreck sparked a vegetation fire that was reported to be an estimated 15 acres around 12:30 p.m.
Update, 12:35 p.m.
A vegetation fire that was sparked by a head-on collision on Highway 299 west of Redding has grown to 15 acres, according to emergency scanner reports.
Crews are battling the flames from the ground and from the air.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has turned the power off on the lines in the area.
Authorities have blocked traffic at Buenaventura Boulevard and Highway 299. They are also turning cars around at Rock Creek Road in the area of Old Shasta.
Emergency crews are responding to a head-on collision on Highway 299 near Whiskeytown Lake that has sparked a vegetation fire, the California Highway Patrol said.
The accident was reported around noon on Thursday in the area of Kennedy Memorial Drive west of Redding.
A big rig collided head on with a Ford Explorer and the semitruck is fully engulfed in flames, according to the CHP.
The fire has spread to vegetation with flames moving up the hillside. The fire has grown to about 5 acres, according to emergency scanner reports.
Authorities have closed Highway 299 at Buenaventura Boulevard.
Firefighters have asked for air support to help fight the fire.
A Record Searchlight journalist is headed to the area. Check back for updates.
David Benda covers business, development and anything else that comes up for the USA TODAY Network in Redding. He also writes the weekly "Buzz on the Street" column. He’s part of a team of dedicated reporters that investigate wrongdoing, cover breaking news and tell other stories about your community. Reach him on Twitter @DavidBenda_RS or by phone at 1-530-338-8323. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today.
This article originally appeared on Redding Record Searchlight: Kennedy Fire: Highway 299 crash sparks 35-acre fire near Redding