MOSS LANDING, Calif. (KRON) – A hazardous materials incident prompted a shelter-in-place advisory for parts of Moss Landing and caused traffic to gridlock along Highway 1 for several hours on Tuesday.

The incident began at 1:30 a.m. when a Tesla Megapack caught fire at a Pacific Gas & Electric substation energy storage facility, according to Caltrans and the Monterey Bay Air Resources District.

Richard Stedman, an air pollution control officer for MBARD, said lithium ion battery fires can emit toxic constituents such as hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid.

A shelter-in-place advisory for nearby residents was issued by the North County Fire Department and the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office. “Please shut your windows and turn off your ventilation systems. In the event of changing weather patterns, impacted areas may change,” county officials wrote on Twitter.

PG&E told KRON4 that around 1:30 a.m., the utility “became aware of a fire in one Tesla Megapack at its Elkhorn Battery Storage facility in Monterey County.” The fire was isolated to a single battery pack at the facility and was contained by firefighters.

PG&E communications manager Jeff Smith said, “Safety systems at the facility worked as designed when the issue was detected, and automatically disconnected the battery storage facility from the electrical grid.”

The California Highway Patrol initially reported that the fire ignited at a powerplant. Caltrans District 5 subsequently stated “the fire … is NOT at the #MossLanding Power Plant,” but is at the adjacent PG&E substation and battery facility.”

There were no injuries to on-site personnel, and no electrical outages for customers. Monterey County officials created a website with the latest information on the incident.

As of Tuesday evening, Highway 1 remained shut down in both directions and the shelter in place advisory was still in effect.

Monterey County officials wrote at 6 p.m., “Highway 1 remains closed from Molera to Jensen Road. No estimated reopening time yet. If this area is part of your commute, plan on using alternate routes. Local residents with valid ID are being allowed through the closure area to return home and are being advised to shelter in place with windows closed.”

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