NewsCovering Kern County


Kern County Fire Department lifts evacuations for Taft residents following chemical spill

Taft Manufacturing Chemical Leak
Taft Manufacturing Chemical Leak
Posted at 11:14 AM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 22:47:19-05

TAFT, Calif. — UPDATE: According to a post from KCFD, the chemical spill at Taft Manufacturing has been fully contained. All evacuation and shelter in place recommendations have been lifted.

UPDATE: According to a Governor's Office of Emergency Services "Hazardous Materials Spill Report, " the chemical that was spilled at Taft Manufacturing was Acrolein. The chemical leaked from a "large container shipped from overseas." At least 30 people were evacuated from the plant and an evacuation radious of six miles was established.

Acrolein is produced industrially from propylene and mainly used as a biocide and a building block to other chemical compounds, such as the amino acid methionine. Acrolein is toxic and is a strong irritant for the skin, eyes, and nasal passages.

UPDATE: According to Kern County Fire Department, "they have identified the source of the chemical leak and have stopped it. Although the leak has been stopped firefighters are still working to neutralize the product."

Kern Transit has announced they are suspending service on Route 120 until the evacuations are lifted.

UPDATE: According to Kern County Public Works, the following roads are closed due to the chemical hazard. Please avoid these areas.

  • South Lake Road from Gardener Field Road to Hill Road.
  • Basic School Road from Highway 166 North to End.
  • Cadet Road at Gardener Field Road.
  • Lake Station Road at Gardener Field Road.
  • Golf Corse Road at Highway 119.
  • Ironbank Road at Golf Course Road.
  • Enos Lane at Union Road South.
  • Union Road from Enos Lane to Coles Levee Road.
  • Millux Road at Old River Road from West to End.
  • Bear Mountain Boulevard from Old River Road to Coles Levee Road.
  • Copus Road from Old River Road to Basic School Road.
  • Golf Course Road at Highway 119. to Peiri Raod.

The Kern County Fire Department hazardous material teams are on the scene of a "possible chemical release" at Taft Manufacturing in the 1900 block of S. Lake Road in Taft.

According to KCFC Public Information Officer Andrew Freeborn a number of crews are on the scene investigating the incident. KCFD is working on evacuating a number of employees and working with the California Highway Patrol to close roadways.

KCFD are evacuating residents within six miles of the business. KCFD is also said that residents that "live or work beyond 6 and up to 9 miles of this location [should] shelter in place. Shelter in place means going inside, closing all doors and windows, shutting off your central air systems and closing your fireplace vents."

The American Red Cross of Kern County has set up an evacuation center at the First Baptist Church at 220 North Street in Taft. Animal Services will assist with sheltering companion animals at the center. People with physical limitations and require evacuation assistance are asked to call the Aging & Adult Services hotline at 1-855-264-6565.

This is a developing story. More information as it becomes available.