highway 154

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of a small but very visible fire in San Marcos Pass over the weekend.

The quick fight against the fire began Saturday at about 3 p.m. The fire was controlled later on in the evening.

(Photo by Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

An eight day closure of Highway 154 due to the Whittier brush fire in Santa Barbara County ended late Sunday afternoon, with the reopening of the highway.

The highway had been closed from Santa Barbara to Highway 154 initially by the blaze itself, and later because of falling rock and downed trees. Crews have been busy for the last week removing debris and repairing damaged utility lines.

The fire was still officially at just over 18,000 acres burned, and 36% contained as of early Sunday evening.  Later in the evening, containment was upgraded to 49%.

Two people are dead, and traffic was disrupted following a head-on crash on a major Santa Barbara County highway.

The collision happened just before 3 p.m. Tuesday on Highway 154 on San Marcos Pass, near Painted Cave Road.

CHP officers say an eastbound car crossed the highway’s center line, hitting a westbound pickup truck. The driver and a passenger in the car were pronounced dead at the scene, while the two people in the pickup truck were taken to a hospital with moderate injuries. The names of the victims haven’t been released yet.

After a break due to winter storms, a project to repair a key section of a Central Coast highway will resume next week.

Caltrans is resurfacing a 17 mile section of Highway 154 from the Solvang area to San Marcos Pass. The project area begins at the Cold Springs Canyon Bridge, and extends west to Edison Road. The work may mean one way only traffic on sections of the highway at times during the overnight hours.

Work on a major Santa Barbara County highway is going to potentially mean delays for motorists for the rest of the work week.

Crews are working on a 17 mile section of Highway 154 in the Santa Ynez Valley, with pavement resurfacing taking place in two shifts during the daytime, and overnight hours.

The work is taking place from Edison Street to Cold Springs Canyon Bridge. There will be one-way traffic at times through work zones.

Motorists could experience some traffic delays in Santa Barbara County as the results of efforts to repair the pavement on a major highway this week.

Crews will be working on sections of Highway 154 in the Santa Ynez Valley. The work will start tonight at 7:30, with crews on scene until 5:30 in the morning. Then, crews will work during both the daytime hours, and overnight tomorrow and Thursday, with plans calling for the project to wrap up by midday Friday.

Highway 154, San Marcos Pass, has had another noticeable rise in accidents.

An all-out effort is underway to make the drive in the Santa Ynez valley safer.

The state has approved more than $14 million dollars in funding for some major transportation projects on the Central Coast, including repaving of a section of a heavily used highway.