A California oil spill that dumped more than 9,000 barrels of oil into a remote stretch of the Sierra Nevada mountains has been deemed a catastrophic failure.
The spill, which occurred last weekend, has left a trail of devastation that extends into the remote wilderness, said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
More than 1.1 million gallons of crude oil spilled from a well near the Santa Barbara River into the San Luis Mountains on Saturday, the agency said in a statement.
The California Department for Fish and Wildlife says the oil has a combined volume of 7.2 million barrels, but the agency doesn’t yet know how much of that spilled.
The company responsible for the well was not immediately available for comment.
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office announced it is taking over the investigation.
The U.S. Coast Guard is also investigating.
The oil company, Texaco, said on Monday that the company is working with the government to make sure the incident is dealt with in a civil manner.