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Highway 101 crashes in Santa Rosa burn zone

As many as three vehicles, including a big rig, got into a minor Highway 101 crash in Santa Rosa early Tuesday, initially blocking two lanes and backing up commute traffic, according to the CHP.

About 20 minutes later, another three vehicles and a big rig got into a separate, nearby crash just south of Bicentennial Way.

The 7:20 a.m. and 7:40 a.m. northbound collisions occurred in view of burn scars from the Oct. 8 Tubbs fire, including destroyed businesses along the highway, scorched fields, hillsides and highway shoulders.

CHP Officer Steve Fricke said traffic in both directions through that stretch has been thicker and slower since the fires because the damage has offered a distraction.

“It’s a lot heavier (traffic) than it normally is. People, especially southbound, are looking across and seeing the Kmart is gone. All those places that used to be there, it’s a large distraction for driving,” said Fricke.

Neither crash appeared to involve injuries and the cause of both were under investigation.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707-521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter@rossmannreport.

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