Heat helps volatile spill evaporate east of Taft

The hot weather helped hazardous materials teams mitigate a chemical spill from a leaking railroad car at a biodiesel facility east of Taft Monday afternoon.

Kern County firefighters were called to the facility located on Millux Road about 2:15 p.m. where the methanol was leaking from a ruptured line on the rail car, which holds 28,000 gallons.

Employees of the plant had already evacuated after the leak was discovered and were safe, according to the KCFD.

The area around the leak was isolated and the California Highway Patrol shut down Millux Road between I-5 and Hill Road.

The Kern County Department of Environmental Health hazmat team also responded and flew a drone over the incident so firefighters could assess the leak safely.

The methanol was evaporating rapidly in the 100-degree plus heat, limiting the amount of the volatile methanol that spilled and making the cleanup easier, the KCFD said.