A brush fire that burned 52 acres along Highway 166 was fully contained by Friday night, according to Los Padres National Forest.
The Gifford Fire broke out on the north side of the highway on Friday afternoon and forced the closure of the roadway shortly after.
Crews from Cal Fire, Santa Barbara County and Los Padres National Forest fire departments responded to the incident located at two miles west of Spanish Ranch.
Both eastbound and westbound traffic was stopped as of 3:19 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol’s traffic incident page.
Highway 166, with two lanes for most of the route, serves as a key connection between the Central Coast and the San Joaquin Valley.
As of an evening update at 7:15 p.m., the fire had “minimal activity” though there was still “heat within the fire perimeter,” according to agency.
Crews continued staffing the fire overnight and into Saturday to ensure no flare-ups occurred. The cause of the fire has not been identified.
#GiffordFire Update 5/19 at 7:15 pm
52 acres. Minimal activity. Heat within the fire perimeter. Crews will be staffing overnight and tomorrow 5/20.
Firefighters on scene: CalFire SLO Unit, Santa Barbara County Fire, and US Forest Service Santa Maria RD pic.twitter.com/9LnMbbodot
— Los Padres NF (@LosPadresNF) May 20, 2023