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June 26, 2022

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EPA, DEQ respond to gas station fire, oil spill in Medford

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MEDFORD, Ore. — A hazardous materials assessment is underway and cleanup is expected to last days after a Tuesday night gas station fire in southern Oregon destroyed multiple businesses and caused an oil spill.

Medford Emergency Management estimates at least four buildings were destroyed in the blaze in Medford that started at the Carson Pacific Pride Commercial Fueling station and quickly spread north, The Mail Tribune reported.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency responded to the site, saying in a news release Wednesday evening that an absorbent boom had been placed at the location and in nearby Bear Creek to reduce the amount of petroleum product released into the stream.

The fueling station contained large amounts of gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products in above and below-ground tanks, the Medford Fire Department said.

EPA set up community air monitors Wednesday, state officials said.

“The scene remains dangerous and is off-limits to the public,” Oregon DEQ said.

Oiled birds also have been observed and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildfire and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are managing the response to birds and any other impacts to fish or wildlife.

Medford police and Medford fire investigators are working to determine how the fire started. The police department said the fire was first reported as a warming fire near railroad tracks.

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