After Saddleridge Fire, Aliso Canyon Is Emitting Gas But Officials Say Methane Isn’t Affecting Community

A man wears a face mask near an area in Porter Ranch scorched by the Saddleridge Fire on Oct. 12, 2019. (Credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images)

A man wears a face mask near an area in Porter Ranch scorched by the Saddleridge Fire on Oct. 12, 2019. (Credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images)

Tests show gases have been oozing from the ground at the Aliso Canyon gas facility in Porter Ranch after it was burned in the Saddleridge Fire, but preliminary readings indicate they’re not reaching the community, health officials said Thursday.

The destructive blaze erupted the night of Oct. 10 in Sylmar and spread to the Southern California Gas Co. facility that was the site of the largest methane leak in U.S. history.

A ground fire at Aliso Canyon was extinguished Oct. 15, according to a the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The natural gas infrastructure at the site showed no signs of damage, nor were there any indications of leaks at the facility, SoCal Gas said in a statement to KTLA.

Officials say they’ve since been conducting daily sampling of air and soil. The results show that gases, mostly methane and lighter hydrocarbons, are emitting from a small area onsite.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District took additional samples and is monitoring methane levels in the community, health officials said. They expect to release additional information Friday after receiving full lab reports.

Authorities say SoCalGas has its own sampling plan and will continue to investigate the fuel source of the ground fire.

The utility said samples so far indicate “it is not storage gas and storage gas is not leaking to the surface.”

Investigators previously said the ground fire covered an area of about 8 square feet at the facility.

Last week, officials said tests showed no detectable levels of methane at the gas facility.

If you live in the area and smell an odor, you can report it to the South Coast AQMD at 800-288-7664. Health-related questions can be directed to the Department of Public Health at 213-738-3220, and for SoCalGas inquiries call 800-427-2200.

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