Lt. John Wilcox Talks about the Hacker Creek Spill
Ridge between Salmon Creek Watershed and Briceland Area
“We have been in contact with the property owner. I cannot give you the name. At this time there are no plans for a physical arrest but a case will probably be submitted for both [marijuana and environmental crimes].”
Lieutenant John Wilcox of the California Dept of Fish and Game was among the first responders to the Hacker Creek diesel spill.
He explains the layout of the scene. “There are two tanks—a larger 1,000 gallon one which was used to fill a smaller 500 gallon one.” Whether carelessly or through mechanical malfunction, the larger tank’s fuel drained completely into the smaller tank. Of course, this overflowed the smaller tank. “We don’t know how much fuel was in either tank when the problem occurred.” The lieutenant emphasized, “There is a lot of fuel on the ground.”
The spill occurred on a rocky hillside–full of what Wilcox calls, “Fractured shale.” Anything liquid is quickly drained into the cracks and disappears. “[The contractor] is excavating as we speak.” Unfortunately, diesel can continue to ooze out for a long time afterwards. The workers will eventually “try and flush it but gravity is the best mover [of the fuel.].”
In Hacker Creek itself, the diesel has apparently been stopped at 300 yards from the spill. There are oil booms etc. up to contain it. According to the Lieutenant, it is unlikely that fish were harmed because “natural obstructions probably keep fish from accessing the area.” However, the creek is a wonderful habitat for frogs and salamanders. “The spill could have harmed them. At this point, we have only found dead insects though.”
Lieutenant John Wilcox appreciates the access the community has provided and wants to let everyone know that there will continue to be a great deal of vehicles. “We will stay until we get it as close to pre-spill conditions as possible.”
Link to post about Contractor on the site.
Link to first post about the spill with map and more info