MEDFORD, Ore. — Update Apr. 15 6:00 pm: Department of Environmental Quality has placed additional booms to capture petroleum products in Bear Creek.
"This morning cleanup crews observed small areas of light sheen on the Rogue River downstream of Bear Creek which has prompted the placement of additional hard boom – which traps petroleum – and absorbent boom into areas of Bear Creek further downstream of the incident," the DEQ said in a press release.
Oregon Fish and Wildlife have been studying fish populations and believe no harm has been detected in them.
Cleanup is underway following the fire at Pacific Pride Commercial Fuel Station in Medford, which released 12,000 gallons of various petroleum products said the Department of Environmental Quality in a release Thursday evening, Apr. 14.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and NEXGEN Logistics, LLC are working on cleaning the petroleum products, mostly lube oil, which made its way into Bear Creek through storm drains in the roads.
The agencies and company said there is no current estimate on the amount of petroleum consumed by the fire or released into the area.
"The aboveground tanks at the site appear to be mostly intact and contractors are in the process of pumping out their contents," said the DEQ.
Approximately 400 feet of absorbent boom has been in Bear Creek to reduce the amount of petroleum product released to the stream.
On Wednesday, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife observed oiled ducks and geese, but say the fish appear thus far unharmed. Biologists captured and cleaned several waterfowl and are monitoring their condition.
The DEQ warned residents, saying if you see any oiled wildlife, do not approach or pick them up. Please notify International Bird Rescue at 707-689-3944 to ensure trained wildlife rehabilitation experts help the animals.
EPA set up community air monitors to ensure air quality and said the air has been at safe levels.