Flames near SoCalGas Aliso Canyon facility spark concern after Saddle Ridge Fire

PORTER RANCH, Calif. (KABC) -- Days after the Saddle Ridge Fire raged through the area, a small blaze burned near the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility - the site of a massive gas leak in 2015.

Crews noticed active flames in the soil Monday, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Using infrared cameras, it was determined that natural gas was not the cause for the fire, which has since been extinguished, according to SoCalGas.

The company said there have been no new gas leaks and there was no damage to the facility, which was the site of a massive gas leak in 2015.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Typically a hot spot this size wouldn't be troubling after a massive wildfire. But many residents in the Porter Ranch area who were impacted by the gas leak were concerned about the fire.

AIR7HD spotted the fire appearing to burn from inside the hill.

AIR7 went back to the same spot just a couple hours after seeing this fire - the flames were out - and the hole appeared to be covered in dirt.

Firefighters say they put the fire out around 1 p.m. - and say there's no indication of damage to the company's active natural gas infrastructure.

Using infrared technology, they checked to see if any gas was coming from the ground.

"They didn't have any readings at that time, this afternoon," said Kenichi Haskett, a Los Angeles County fire section chief. "Additionally, our health hazmat division for LA County fire took samples of the air quality."

Firefighters say LA County Fire Health Hazmat division is working with LA County Department of Public Health and the Air Quality Management Division.

They've sent samples of the air quality to see if anything hazardous was shooting out of the hole.

"As to how that started - until those samples come back until we get further information, we can't assume anything, other than right now when we did the flare-gun readings there wasn't any sign of gaseous substances coming out of the air," Haskett said.

SoCalGas says the situation does not pose any risk to public safety and there have been no impacts to operations at the facility.

Firefighters say besides that one flareup, they did not see other flames on the hillside.

The Saddle Ridge Fire continues to burn and fire-weather conditions may return next week so the danger is not fully over yet.
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