Big Bear, Ca, September 22, 2011, 3:00pm –
Highway 38 remains closed east of Angelus Oaks as a result of an oil tanker overturning earlier this week, resulting in over 6,000 gallons of fuel being spilt on the roadway. According to Cal Trans, Highway 38 is set to remain closed this weekend, and no reopen date has been set at this time. The reason for the prolonged closure is that Cal Trans is digging up the roadway, and surrounding area where the fuel spilt, as the contaminated soil needs to be removed. Cal Trans states that hazardous materials contractor Double Barrel Environmental Services is utilizing heavy equipment and working around the clock to remove the contaminated soil. The California Department of Fish and Game, the US Forest Service and local water district officials are on scene assisting with efforts to protect nearby waterways and wildlife habitat. According to Cal Trans a swift response kept the fuel from flowing into a nearby creek, which feeds into the Santa Ana River. Initially firefighters were concerned about the possibility that this would ignite a fire below the highway near a local private organizational camp, and ordered the camp to be evacuated as a precautionary measure. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies were able to safely evacuate the 12 individuals at the camp, and the private camp remains closed until San Bernardino Health officials determine it safe for the caretakers to return. The incident is being managed by the California Highway Patrol under Unified Command with Caltrans, San Bernardino County Fire Department and the US Forest Service.