Fire that shut down Highway 101 in Paso Robles under investigation

The second lane of northbound Highway 101 through Paso Robles was shutdown for about an hour Sunday as firefighters responded to a nearby grass fire, according to the CHP.

The vegetation fire was reported just after 2:30 p.m. under the Niblick Road bridge, the CHP said.

Firefighters first at the scene found a fire burning brush and thick grass between the highway and the Salinas Riverbed, according to a Paso Robles Emergency Services news release. The fire was contained to one acre within about 15 minutes, and was fully extinguished after an hour.

Traffic was slowed during the incident. The CHP received reports of wrong-way drivers around 2:45 p.m., the agency said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Paso Robles police are interviewing one witness, according to the release.

Vegetation fires in the Salinas Riverbed have been common over the last two years, and forced the bridge to close in June.

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Monica Vaughan reports on health, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo County, oil and wildlife at The Tribune. She previously covered crime and justice in the Sacramento Valley, is a graduate of the University of Oregon journalism school and is a sixth-generation Californian. Have an idea for a story? Email: mvaughan@thetribunenews.com