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Burning car sparks brush fire on Cuesta Grade, closes 2 lanes on Hwy. 101 overnight

Car engulfed in flames on Cuesta Grade

A car fire on the Cuesta Grade sparked a brush fire on the hill beside Highway 101 on Friday, July 7, 2017.
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A car fire on the Cuesta Grade sparked a brush fire on the hill beside Highway 101 on Friday, July 7, 2017.

A burning car sparked a quick-moving brush fire on the Cuesta Grade during the afternoon commute Friday, forcing the closure of two lanes of traffic overnight, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP and Caltrans closed the No. 2 and No. 3 lanes of northbound Highway 101 while crews fought the fire. At 11:30 p.m. Friday, it was still taking about 25 to 30 minutes to travel up the Grade.

A silver Mercedes-Benz sedan caught fire about 4:20 p.m. on the right side of the highway, just north of TV Tower Road, the CHP said. The driver was not injured in the car fire, and no related arrests have been made, according to the CHP.

The flames then ignited nearby brush, starting a fire close to the roadway.

As of 9:30 p.m., the fire had scorched 60 acres, according to a Cal Fire tweet. It was 45 to 50 percent contained.

Old Stage Coach Road was also closed as Cal Fire set up a command center in the parking lot off that road, the CHP said.

The flames also knocked down nearby power lines, according to a Cal Fire tweet.

A rapidly-burning brush fire on a hillside next to northbound Highway 101 on the Cuesta Grade started when a Mercedes-Benz sedan caught fire on Friday, July 7, 2017.

Flames from a burning car on the Cuesta Grade ignited a fast-moving brush fire on the hillside next to northbound Highway 101. Firefighters worked Friday evening to contain the 45-acre fire.

Flames from a burning car on the Cuesta Grade ignited a fast-moving brush fire on the hillside next to Highway 101, forcing the closure of two lanes of traffic right at rush hour.

Lindsey Holden: 805-781-7939, @lindseyholden27

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