A fire that sparked near the Gaviota Tunnel on Highway 101 has been fully suppressed, but crews are expected to continue battling the blaze for “a lengthy period of time,” according to report, a public information officer with Santa Barbara County Fire.
The fire, which is referred to as the Tunnel fire, was believed to have been started by a vehicle crash in the area, according to county officials, the Firefighter. County Fire crews responded to the scene just after 3 p.m. Thursday to a report of that vehicle crash, and a vegetation fire had sparked in the center divider of the highway. The fire had grown to about 2 acres by 4 p.m., Eliason reported.
The county firefighters received help from crews with the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Navy, Eliason said. The crews had been working on other fires in northern California. Two helicopters made water drops, but they were called off after 4 p.m., which is when the fire was reported to be fully contained.
— SBCFireInfo (@EliasonMike) October 19, 2017
Both directions of traffic on Highway 101 had been closed down in the early stages of the fire, but one northbound lane was set to be reopened around 4:30 p.m. A southbound lane was also expected to open shortly after.
Although the fire is contained, crews remained on the ground to mop up hot spots and ensure that it doesn’t spread further.
According to report, No one was injured in the vehicle crash and no injuries have been reported from the fire, Eliason said.
Investigators still going on site and still working to determine the exact cause of the blaze.