Pacheco Pass reopens as fire burns 300 acres

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Cardboard that spilled from an overturned trailer ignited and caught the nearby hillside on fire at Dinosaur Point on Highway 152 July 27. Photo: Chris Mora @frominsidethemat

Highway 152 was closed in both directions near the Santa Clara/Merced county line east of Hollister as crews continue to battle a blaze caused by an overturned trailer July 27.

The Cottonwood Fire, which ignited shortly before 8am near Dinosaur Point at the San Luis Reservoir, has burned 300 acres and is 15 percent contained, according to Cal Fire. Smoke from the blaze can be seen throughout South Santa Clara and San Benito counties.

According to the California Highway Patrol, a semi truck carrying a load of cardboard was traveling toward Los Banos when, for unknown reasons, its trailer overturned and spilled the materials across both eastbound lanes. That caused nearby brush to catch fire.

Shortly after, another semi truck hauling hay westbound toward Hollister passed through the area, where ash from the fire ignited the hay. The hay fire then ignited the nearby hillside about a half-mile away from the overturned trailer.

As of 2pm, one lane in each direction of Highway 152 reopened.

No injuries were reported.

Photo: Chris Mora @frominsidethemat
Photo: Chris Mora @frominsidethemat

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