Mono Hazmat Team Handles Chemical Spill on 395

The Mono County Hazmat Team was called out after a semi truck rolled over on highway 395.

Thom Heller with Mammoth Fire reports that on Friday, a semi truck and trailer carrying a mixed load of items rolled onto its side just north of the Crestview Rest Area on the northbound lane of Highway 395.

With a suspicious vapor coming from the trailer, June Lake Fire called the Mono County Hazardous Materials Response Team. Highway Patrol Officers were on scene with Caltrans, when the Hazmat Team arrived, according to Heller.

Northbound lanes of 395 were closed off while the Haz Mat Team put on their blue isolation suits to enter the truck and come up with a game plan for dealing with the problem, Heller reports.

Inside the overturned trailer, the Hazmat team found that a couple of cases of a corrosive substance used in the processing of photo film had broken open when crushed by a pallet of mortar. The team was able to contain the leaking liquid and remove it from the trailer.

The Highway was re-opened after crews righted the truck. The Hazmat Team was on site for over three hours during the clean-up. Heller says that before Mono County formed a Hazmat team about a year ago, emergency workers would have had to call a hazardous materials team from either the Reno/Sparks or San Bernardino areas.

Initial funding came from the Office of Homeland Security for training and equipment. Additional funding comes from Mono County and the Fire Protection Districts of Mono County. The Hazmat Team is made up of members of the Paradise, Long Valley, Mammoth Fire Departments and members of the Mono County Sheriffs Office and Mammoth Lakes Police Department.


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