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Kern County grass fire closes Highway 41 near SLO County

Cal Fire and Kern County fire crews battle a grass fire near the Kern-San Luis Obispo county line.
Cal Fire and Kern County fire crews battle a grass fire near the Kern-San Luis Obispo county line.

Smoke from a Kern County grass fire Saturday afternoon prompted Cal Fire to close part of Highway 41 out of concern for safety and visibility on the roadway.

Cal Fire responders at around 3:15 p.m. used Twitter to notify residents and drivers of the fire, which burned about 1 mile east of the San Luis Obispo-Kern County line.

A CHP report noted the presence of an unoccupied dark blue van parked in the area, but responders weren’t sure if the vehicle caused the fire.

Flames had scorched about 45 acres of grass as of 4 p.m., according to Cal Fire. Cal Fire assisted Kern County crews, and firefighters battled the blaze using air and ground resources, said Cal Fire Capt. Nick Stitzel.

Cal Fire asked the CHP at 3:30 p.m. to close Highway 41 between SLO and Kings counties to protect motorists and fire crews. Drivers were asked to avoid the area. The highway was reopened about 5 p.m.

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