Hunters and campers asked to leave Sierra Madre Road area.


(Editor's note: Story is updated to reflect to show Highway 166 is now open to traffic)

Highway 166 was repoened to both eastbound and westbound traffic Monday as a wildfire burned near it in the Rock Front ranch area.

The Front Fire, as it is called, is currently burning on the north side of the Highway 166 but Los Padres National Forest officials, fearing the fire could cross the roadway, closed the Sierra Madre Road area and recommended campers and hunters leave areas south of the highway.

The road was closed about 5:45 p.m. Sunday between New Cuyama and Santa Maria and the California Highway Patrol website said reopened about 1:15 p.m. Monday.
The Front Fire broke out about 1:30 p.m. Sunday and by noon Monday had burned 875 acres.

It is five percent contained and burning in brush, short grass and chaparral.

A push of cool, moist marine air helped slow the spread of the fire overnight, but high temperatures are expected today with low relative humidity and light winds.

The USFS said 487 firefighters are working the fire and along with five helicopters and several fixed-wing air tankers.