Drivers could feel the heat from a vegetation fire that grew quickly next to Highway 101 near Milpas Street at about 7:30 p.m Thursday.
Firefighters say that the flames were burning hot and fast when they pulled up to a site full of brush and known for homeless encampments.
One lane of the freeway was closed down for about an hour as a result of the fire, the cause of which is still under investigation.
Police detained one man in the area but it's unknown if he was connected to the fire.
No structures were nearby. The fire was very visible throughout the waterfront and eastside neighborhoods.
There was also a fire to the north in the Lompoc riverbed, at another area where homeless camps are located and are in the process of being cleared out.