• ITVI.USA
    15,097.280
    -2.920
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.895
    0.003
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.150
    0.030
    0.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,068.770
    -2.780
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.960
    0.380
    14.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.710
    0.160
    4.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.290
    -0.010
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.720
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.240
    0.100
    4.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.160
    0.060
    1.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    132.000
    -5.000
    -3.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,097.280
    -2.920
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.895
    0.003
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.150
    0.030
    0.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,068.770
    -2.780
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.960
    0.380
    14.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.710
    0.160
    4.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.290
    -0.010
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.720
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.240
    0.100
    4.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.160
    0.060
    1.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    132.000
    -5.000
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InsightsNewsWeather and Critical Events

Major US highway in California reopens near Alisal wildfire

25-mile stretch of US Highway 101 was closed for 3 days

The Alisal fire started Monday afternoon near the Alisal Reservoir in Southern California’s Santa Ynez mountains, forcing a shutdown of part of a major highway. Fortunately, firefighters have been able to gain control of the blaze, and the road is open again. 

(Map: FreightWaves SONAR Critical Events. Alisal fire in Southern California, Oct. 15, 2021. To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.)

Strong northwest winds pushed the fire south over the summit toward the Tajiguas Landfill and crossed U.S. Highway 101 (US-101) to Tajiguas Beach. As of Thursday morning, the fire had grown to approximately 16,900 acres with 41% containment. The fire is burning 20 miles northwest of Santa Barbara within Refugio Canyon.

According to the California Highway Patrol Highway, US-101 was reopened in both directions Wednesday night where it had been closed from Goleta to California Route 1 in Las Cruces. This is a stretch of about 25 miles.

The railway parallel to US-101 has also reopened in both directions and all services are expected to return to normal. This rail is used by Amtrak and Union Pacific Railroad.

Long-term drought conditions persist in the Alisal fire area, and extremely low humidity will linger through the weekend. However, winds have died down, leading to more favorable conditions for crews to make more progress attacking the fire on the ground and from the air. 


Related: Weekend of high winds, high heat in Southern California


However, strong gusts will slam the Los Angeles metropolitan area, about 115 southeast of the Alisal fire. This will elevate the risk for new fires sparking and spreading quickly, as well as increasing the odds for tractor-trailer rollovers.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist

In his nearly 20 years of weather forecasting experience, Nick worked on air at WBBJ-TV and WRCB-TV, including time spent doing weather analysis and field reporting. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Nick is also a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” for eight consecutive years. Nick earned his National Weather Association Broadcasting Seal in 2005.

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