San Benito County

Update: 'Casa Fire' at Highway 152 east of Gilroy now 100 percent contained

Car fire sparks grass fire along Highway 152

GILROY, Calif. - UPDATE Friday, Aug. 29: As of 2:30 p.m., the fire is 100 percent contained.


Both lanes of Highway 152 were closed for several hours in each direction near Casa De Fruta after an accident and a grass fire that took off Thursday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The Casa Fire is at 10% containment as of 10 p.m. Thursday.

A Toyota Prius hit a guard rail on the north side of Highway 152 westbound and caught fire around 3 p.m. While no injuries were reported, Cal Fire said the car fire sparked a 30 acre fire on the north side of the highway, which jumped the highway to the south, causing a 50 acre fire.

"Embers from the existing fires get blown across the highway and the land in the reciprocal fuel bed and they catch on fire and take off from there."

Crews say there's so much dry fuel, the fire spread quickly. Firefighters will be on scene possibly until Saturday mopping up.

"It's evident that the drought has had an impact.  The fact that its hot and dry and being in the drought, temperatures were not that hot and so the fuel conditions are ready to burn," said Cal Fire Santa Clara Battalion Chief Pete Gallegos.

CHP and crews from Cal Fire responded initially, with about 130 personnel on scene.  As of about 5:30 p.m., Cal Fire was reporting that the blaze was at 80 acres.

Cal Fire has dubbed his incident the 'Casa Fire.'  Crews will work through Thursday and could be on scene until Saturday.

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