Highway 101 reopened in Santa Barbara area, Alisal Fire now 41% contained

Alisal Fire 10.13.21
Photo shared by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department show activity on the western flank of the Alisal Fire on Oct. 13, 2021, as the fire pushed down the canyon toward Highway 101. Photo credit Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Highway 101 reopened to traffic in the Santa Barbara area Thursday night, officials said, after more than four days closed due to the ongoing Alisal Fire. The railway parallel to Highway 101 has also reopened in both directions and all services are expected to be back to normal.

“Please drive carefully and know that fire resources are still operating in the area,” Mike Eliason with Santa Barbara County Fire said. “Please watch the road, not the burn scar. We thank you very much for your patience.”

Fire officials said the Alisal Fire grew by just 100 acres overnight Thursday, and is now 16,901 acres and 41% contained. Three homes and two other structures have been destroyed.

The fire started around 2 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 11 near the Alisal Reservoir north of Santa Barbara. It was propelled by strong northwest winds and quickly pushed south, crossing Highway 101 and prompting a shutdown of a portion of the highway to travelers.

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