Leak was later shut off and evacuations lifted

Highway 58 in Buttonwillow was closed for a time and part of the small community was evacuated Monday afternoon by an ammonia leak.

The anhydrous ammonia was leaking from a business at Highway 58 and Willow Streets in the small community and it also forced evacuations until the leak could be secured.

Kern County firefighters responded to the scene an called for help from the KCFD's hazardous materials specialists.

It was determined the dangerous chemical was leaking during a transfer from a 30,000 gallon tank to a 1,000 gallon tank, the KCFD said in a news release.

Hazmat specialist wearing protective gear were able to shut the leak off.

Highway 58 was reopened just before 3 p.m. after being shut down for two hours and the evacuees were allowed to return to their homes and businesses.

The area east of Miller, south of Cotton, west of Meadow, and north of Highway 58 was under a mandatory evacuation until the leak was secured and the ammonia dissipated.