A big-rig fire shut down northbound Highway 101 north of Gaviota for nearly two hours Monday night, but no injuries were reported, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department responded three engines to the blaze, which began shortly after 9 p.m. in the truck’s engine compartment half way up the Nojoqui Grade, according to Capt. David Sadecki.
When crews arrived, the semi’s cab was engulfed in flames, and the trailer ended up being gutted by fire, Sadecki said, adding that the contents of the vehicle were unknown.
Firefighters were able to control the flames in about 30 minutes, but it took nearly two hours to clear the wreckage and get traffic flowing again.
The driver of the big-rig apparently left the scene, Sadecki said.
Northbound traffic was being turned around at Highway 1, and detour signs were set up in Buellton and Santa Barbara warning motorists to take the alternate route over Highway 154 through the Santa Ynez Valley and over San Marcos Pass.
One northbound lane was reopened at about 10:30 p.m., according to the CHP.
The highway closure comes a night after northbound Highway 101 was shut down near Refugio State Beach due to an accident the CHP said was caused by an intoxicated driver.