Update 5:40 p.m.
Witnesses reported seeing a car dragging a chain in the vicinity of the five fires along Highway 101 Tuesday evening, but the cause of the fires is still under investigation, Cal Fire spokesman Chris Elms said.
“There’s nothing definite with that yet,” he said.
Cal Fire crews are still on scene for the fire burning near the Spring Street off-ramp, where forward spread was stopped at about 12 acres.
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“There’s a lot of heavy mop-up happening in there,” he said, noting crews would be working on that area for several more hours.
Forward spread on the other four smaller fires — including a previously unreported one near the Las Tablas off-ramp — have all been stopped, with crews from local city fire departments working on mopping up those as well.
Update 5 p.m.
Both lanes of northbound Highway 101 are open at South Spring Street, according to a tweet by Caltrans. Drivers should expect traffic to continue in the area.
Update 4:50 p.m.
Traffic on Highway 101 is moving again northbound in southern Paso Robles, but the intersections and feeder roads in the area are backed up, particularly around the Highway 46 and Main Street interchanges.
Update 4:30 p.m.
There are a total of four confirmed fires along northbound Highway 101 and forward spread on all of them has been stopped, Cal Fire spokesman Chris Elms said.
The southernmost one is just north of San Anselmo Road in Atascadero and the northernmost one in San Luis Obispo County is near Exline Road in Paso Robles. There are two other fires: one near South Spring Street and the other near North Spring Street, both in Paso Robles.
The left lane of northbound Highway 101 at Spring Street is now open, according to Caltrans.
Update 4:05 p.m.
Both lanes of northbound Highway 101 are closed at Spring Street in Paso Robles due to a fire in the median, Caltrans said. Traffic is backed up from the Spring Street exit to at least Templeton. Traffic is reportedly heavy through Atascadero, as well.
Firefighters are responding to multiple brush fires that started burning Tuesday afternoon along Highway 101 in the North County.
The fires appear to be along Highway 101 from Atascadero all the way up to Camp Roberts, though fires are not burning at the base.
“They’re catching all the way to the county line right now,” Cal Fire spokesman Chris Elms said.
“We’re still taking 911 calls but some of these fires are in the city of Atascadero, some in Templeton, some in Paso Robles and some in the county,” Elms said. “We’re not sure what’s what yet.”
Elms said the biggest fire he’s heard of is about 2 acres.
According to the CHP incident page, fires were reported at the northbound Vineyard Drive off-ramp, the Monterey off-ramp, the Las Tablas on-ramp and the Spring Street area. Northbound Highway 101 is closed at Spring Street, according to the CHP, and Cal Fire is requesting that the Spring Street off-ramp be shut down.
There is also a report of another fire at Highway 46 West.
This story will be updated.