Highway 116/Stage Gulch Road closed after vehicle crash

A vehicle crash brought down power lines into open grasslands outside Petaluma, sparking several brush fires and closing Highway 116 north of Lakeville Highway on Monday night.

The incident shortly before 6 p.m. began when emergency dispatchers learned of a series of fires near Lakeville and Stage Gulch Road/Highway 116 east of Petaluma. Cal Fire personnel said about 5 acres of vegetation burned.

Fire personnel were responding when it was discovered that the driver of a gold Honda Accord had plowed about 20 feet off the road into a fence and a utility pole, causing downed wires to ignite the spot fires, authorities said.

The driver was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, authorities said. Her name was not immediately available.

Dispatchers said no one required hospitalization from the crash.

But it caused an extended response by firefighters and the CHP, which closed Highway 116 between Lakeville Highway and Old Adobe Road while a PG&E crew replaced the utility pole.

Construction in the area was going to require closure of the road between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. this morning anyway.

Cal Fire personnel said the fires were contained just after 7 p.m.

-Mary Callahan

Mary Callahan

Environment and Climate Change, The Press Democrat

I am in awe of the breathtaking nature here in Sonoma County and am so grateful to live in this spectacular region we call home. I am amazed, too, by the expertise in our community and by the commitment to protecting the land, its waterways, its wildlife and its residents. My goal is to improve understanding of the issues, to find hope and to help all of us navigate the future of our environment. 

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