Officials close off 160 square miles to fishing after CA oil spill

FILE- In this Feb. 6, 1969, file photo, state forestry conservation crews gather up oil-soaked straw on a beach in Santa Barbara, Calif. An oil slick stretched across 9 miles of coastal waters Thursday, May 21, 2015, after a pipeline rupture spilled thousands of gallons of crude just north of Santa Barbara, along the same stretch of coastline as the 1969 spill. (AP Photo/Wally Fong, File)

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) – Officials have closed a 160-square-mile section of ocean to fishing because of the oil spill on the Santa Barbara coast.

The announcement was made Thursday in an update on efforts to clean up the spill that spread an oil slick across 9 miles of sea.

The closure affects a 23-mile by 7-mile area offshore between Goleta and El Capitan Beach because of oil contamination.

State wildlife officials had previously closed two miles of shoreline to fishing and shellfish harvesting.

Officials say more than 8,300 gallons of the oily mess have been raked, skimmed and vacuumed – just a fraction of the crude that escaped from a broken pipeline.

Up to 105,000 gallons may have leaked from the ruptured pipeline Tuesday, and as much as 21,000 gallons reached the sea.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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