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UPDATE: Fire off Hwy 166 east of Santa Maria 100% contained

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Posted at 3:19 PM, May 19, 2023

UPDATE (8:59 p.m.) — The Gifford Fire is 100% contained as of 8:30 p.m., according to Los Padres National Forest officials.

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UPDATE (5:35 p.m.) — Santa Barbara County Fire reports that forward progress of the Gifford Fire has been stopped after burning 50 acres.
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UPDATE (4:39 p.m.) — Caltrans reports that all lanes of Highway 166 are now open to traffic.
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UPDATE (3:50 p.m.) — The Gifford Fire has grown to 40 acres, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
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(3:19 p.m.) — Firefighters are responding to a fire along Highway 166 about halfway between Highway 101 and Cuyama.

The "Gifford Fire" was reported just before 2:30 p.m.

The first firefighters to arrive reported five acres burning on the north side of the highway.

According to the California Highway Patrol, both eastbound and westbound traffic is blocked by fire crews.

This is a developing story and will be updated with new information as it becomes available.