SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)-- Salinas Fire contained a fire that started at an encampment site on the hillside off Airport Boulevard and northbound Highway 101 around 12:30 p.m. Thursday.
Firefighters said the fire started when an occupant of a tent started lighting trash, including their waste, and due to strong winds the fire spread up the hill. They also said that the fire was made below their tent.
The Airport Boulevard overpass was shut down for half an hour, and both the southbound and northbound exits to Highway 101 were under traffic control to allow fire personnel to handle the fire.
"The weather is getting warmer," Battalion Chief for Salinas Fire Cary Lesch said. "We're moving into fire season. Especially at this time, the winds are picking up, and we want people to be careful with mowing their lawns, doing any type of yard work, especially playing with any type of fire. The vegetation is just super dry right now."
Firefighters were able to arrive and put out the fire within minutes and were released around 1 p.m.
Firefighters on the scene also noted that a third of the calls they respond to are for encampment fires and that it is dangerous this time of year with the dry grass and strong winds.