The massive chemical explosion and spill is a mess to clean up. Hazmat crews are currently working to determine exactly what the substance is and how they are going to clean it up. The half-mile area surrounding the explosion site remains evacuated Thursday night.
27 businesses and four homes are in the evacuation zone. All of the homeowners and business owners were forced to leave everything behind Tuesday morning when the explosion rocked the area. Representatives of the businesses and homes were escorted in Thursday afternoon by firefighters to collect necessary items.
“Some of the other work that we were doing, we had to cancel it because we couldn’t get to our equipment, so our main priority is getting that equipment out,” said Jim Miller with Western Oil Spreading.
The majority of businesses in the evacuation zone are industrial, but there are some agricultural businesses as well with crops ranging from lemons to berries.
“Any time you are dealing with a hazardous material like this and a toxic cloud like this we have to look at every aspect and we are going to do some testing of the soils downwind of this thing and get an idea if there is any contamination,” said Mike Lindbery with the Ventura County Fire Department.
Until hazmat crews figure out how to clean up this toxic substance, themandatory evacuation zone will most likely stay in effect. Lindbery said at this point there is no update on when the mandatory evacuation zone will be lifted.