Crews already stretched thin due to a number of large wildfires on the Central Coast and across the state were further extended Tuesday when multiple brush fires broke out along Highway 101 in the North County.
Five fires, which stretched from Atascadero to Camp Roberts, shut down roads — including northbound 101 at Spring Street in Paso Robles — delaying traffic for hours.
The largest fire at Spring Street burned approximately 12 acres, according to Cal Fire.
Witnesses reported seeing a car dragging a chain in the vicinity of the fires, but the cause is still under investigation, Cal Fire spokesman Chris Elms said.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The other four small blazes were contained by Tuesday evening, Elms said.
Meanwhile, crews were making significant progress on the two larger fires on the Central Coast, the Alamo Fire east of Santa Maria and the Whittier Fire near Lake Cachuma in northern Santa Barbara County.
The Parkfield Fire that started Saturday night near San Miguel and the Stone Fire that was sparked Sunday near Santa Margarita were both fully contained Tuesday.
The weather outlook also continues to benefit firefighting efforts.
The marine layer that deepened Tuesday is expected to persist, according to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey. It will produce extensive night and morning low clouds and fog in the coastal regions and cooler temperatures throughout the Central Coast.
Inland temperatures are expected to range from 91 to 53 degrees while coastal temperature will fall between 75 and 53 degrees Wednesday.
Alamo Fire takes four structures
Firefighters made significant progress Tuesday on the Alamo Fire, the largest of the state’s 13 active wildfires.
Despite positive progress, the fire did destroy four additional structures, including a home, according to Cal Fire.
As of 6 p.m., the fire was 60 percent contained with no new growth; it had burned nearly 29,000 acres and destroyed five structures.
Whittier Fire slows
The Whittier Fire grew more than 450 acres to 11,281 on Tuesday, but crews were also able to increase containment from 25 to 48 percent.
U.S. Forest Service spokesperson Lee Beyer said crews are concentrating efforts on an active portion of the blaze in Hot Springs Canyon, which could present some issues into the night and early Wednesday morning.
The fire lines on the hills leading into Santa Barbara and Goleta made no significant progress Tuesday and have been quiet the past two days, Beyer said.
Parkfield and Stone Fires contained
While the Whittier and Alamo fires are far from full containment, two SLO County fires were at an end Tuesday.
The Stone Fire east of Santa Margarita was fully percent contained Tuesday night after scorching 340 acres.
The Parkfield Fire near San Miguel was also 100 percent contained Tuesday, according to Cal Fire.
That fast-moving brush fire erupted Saturday evening between San Miguel and Parkfield on the northern edge of San Luis Obispo County and quickly grew to 1,500 acres within three hours.
In total, the blaze burned 1,816 acres and caused residents of the area to evacuate. Those evacuation warnings were lifted Sunday.
Garza Fire visible in SLO County
The Garza Fire burning east of Parkfield near the Monterey and Kings county line was visible in the northern part of SLO County on Monday night and caused people in the Paso Robles and Shandon areas to alert authorities.
The fire, which was reportedly 17 percent contained, had burned more than 14,000 acres Tuesday, and smoke could be seen from up to 30 miles.
Gabby Ferreira and Kaytlyn Leslie contributed to this report.