UPDATE (Sunday Feb. 20, 1:20 p.m.) - Montecito Fire Department is investigating a series of fires that broke out in Carpinteria that caused several closures on Northbound Highway 101 throughout Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
Authorities said the fires sparked in the storm drain system underneath Highway 101 and the 5700 block of Via Real.
The first blaze was reported at 5:55 P.M with smoke seen between Bailard Avenue and Casitas Pass Road.
Fire investigators said the storm drain "is lined with a thick plastic material," which made it harder for firefighters to extinguish the flames.
Cal Trans and California Highway Patrol reopened Highway 101 at 9:20 P.M. except for the Via Real off ramp.
At 1:30 A.M. there was a report of another fire coming from the same area, which led to a second closure of the northbound lanes of Highway 101 from Bailard Avenue to Casitas Pass Road.
Firefighters sprayed a special foam into the drain to control the fire.
Highway 101 reopened by 5 A.M.
Montecito Fire Department is investigating these incidents. As a result the 5700 block of Via Real will remain closed until a safety assessment is completed.
(10:30 p.m.) - All lanes of northbound Highway 101 in the Carpinteria area are now open after a fire near the roadway, according to Cal Trans.
(7 p.m.) - Highway 101 closed near Carpinteria due to a smoke investigation.
According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, Highway 101 Northbound is closed from Bailard to Casitas Pass Road and Via Real from Bailard to Casitas Pass Road.
Authorities said there is an investigation underway after reports of smoke that is coming out from an underground pipe.
Drivers are asked to avoid the area.
This is a developing story, there will be updates as more details are made available.