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Highway 166 Reopens as Crews Reach 78% Containment of Alamo Fire

Highway 166 was reopened Wednesday night after a long closure due to the Alamo Fire, which continues to burn east of Santa Maria. 

All lanes had been closed between U.S. Highway 101 in Santa Maria and Cuyama since the blaze started near Twitchell Reservoir on July 6. 

Caltrans reported the roadway was open in both directions as of 6:10 p.m., "so thanks for your patience and strong Cal Fire response," District 5 wrote on Twitter. 

There may be reduced speed limits on the highway because of the fire equipment vehicles in the area. 

Crews appear to have gained the upper hand on the blaze and had 78-percent containment as of Thursday morning.  

The weather cooperated with containment efforts and the burned area was estimated at 28,687 acres. 

Unified command reduced the mandatory evacuation order to a warning Wednesday for residents and others in the Tepusquet Canyon area, and all road closures were lifted. 

Crews patrolled the fire line Wednesday and continued mop-up operations, officials said. There was limited fire activity and officials have started damage assessments. 

Two residences have been destroyed and 133 structures were threatened as of Thursday morning.

More than 2,000 personnel were assigned to the fire as of Thursday, and crews planned to strengthen containment lines and diminish hot spots inside the fire perimeter, officials said. 

Helicopters, dozers, water tenders and engines are assigned to the blaze, and crews on the ground are working in very steep terrain with dry vegetation, officials said. 

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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