Gas leak closes road, prompts home evacuation in Fish Creek area
Steamboat Springs Fire and Rescue and the Steamboat Springs Police Department assisted with a gas leak that closed County Road 32, Fish Creek Falls Road, on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, and forced one nearby home to evacuate.
“You could definitely smell the gas in the surrounding area,” said Travis Wilkinson, deputy fire chief of Steamboat Springs Fire and Rescue.
According to Atmos Energy, at about 1:10 p.m. on Wednesday, a construction company struck an underground natural gas line by accident. The construction crew was installing utilities unrelated to Atmos Energy near the intersection of County Road 32 and Boulder Ridge Road.
According to Wilkinson, there was concern that a nearby electric line could generate a spark within the area.
“The levels of gas at the leak were definitely at an explosive level if there was an ignition source in the area,” said Wilkinson.
The threat of an explosion is also why County Road 32 above the intersection was closed for several hours, as passing motorists could have created an ignition source.
A team of technicians from Atmos Energy were able to excavate and seal the gas line without complications, while Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue staff were on standby at the scene.
According to Atmos Energy, the most common cause of outside natural gas leaks is accidental damage while digging. The company urges people, in the event of nicking or scraping a natural gas pipeline, to first call 911 then call Atmos Energy’s emergency number at 866-322-8667 so they can inspect the pipeline and make any needed repairs.
Wilkinson encouraged construction crews to be careful while excavating and to dial 811 for Utility Locating Services a few days before digging.
To reach Spencer Powell, call 970-871-4229 or email him at spowell@SteamboatPilot.com
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