Crews search for source of Donner Summit fuel spill |

Crews search for source of Donner Summit fuel spill

Officials have been searching since Friday for the source of a fuel pipeline leak on Donner Summit near the Sugar Bowl Ski Academy, according to the Department of Fish and Game.

Weather hampered the search for the source of the leak in the 8-inch multi-product fuel line over the weekend, although officials were able to start the search Monday morning, said Rob Hughes, Department of Fish and Game information officer.

“Today (Monday) looks like it’s going to be a good day,” said Hughes, who was at a temporary command center set up at Donner Ski Ranch Monday morning. “Yesterday was terrible. We had to shut the operation down. It was white-out conditions. It was too dangerous to be out there.”

A skier at Donner Ski Ranch reported the fuel smell to authorities on Friday. There has been no apparent health risk nor harm to animals due to the spill, Hughes said.

“There was some sheen [next to the pipe],” he said. “None of the fuel has reached any of the main waterways or tributaries.”

Officials set up an oil-absorbant boom and coffer dam to prevent fuel from reaching lakes and streams around the spill.

Kinder Morgan, one of the nation’s largest fuel transportation and storage companies, owns the pipeline, which runs from San Francisco, over Donner Summit, to Reno. Once the spill is found, officials will cut out the bad section of pipe and replace it with a new section.

County, fire crews and U.S. Forest Service personnel and a Department of Fish and Game biologist have been working to address the spill.

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