Mitchell Denny Jr.

As of 9:30 a.m. traffic on Highway 101 is open one lane in each direction just south of Mariposa Reina near Gaviota because of a fire that broke out at about 8 p.m. Monday night. The right lane in each direction will be closed until later this afternoon, probably before the afternoon commute, according to CHP Officer Don Clotworthy. Highway 154 is no longer the recommended alternate route, as it is severely congested with traffic due to the fire.

Santa Barbara County Deputy Fire Chief Tom Franklin said the fire, at about 200 acres, is 70 percent contained as of 9:15 this morning. The winds are “in our favor,” Franklin said, although there is one trouble spot in the northeast portion of the hills near San Onofre Creek. Firefighting crews and bulldozers are working in the area, and aircraft had been deployed to help the situation.

Last nights winds hit 60 miles per hour and pushed the fire very quickly down the San Onofre Canyon toward the ocean. Firefighters from Santa Barbara County Fire Station 18 responded almost immediately, and the fire had already spread to five acres.

For more on the fire, read here.


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