Category Archives: Benicia Fire Department

6,000-gallon ‘hot asphalt tar’ hazardous spill closes westbound I-780, no estimated time for reopening

[There is a massive hazardous spill fully blocking westbound I-780 lanes near the East 2nd Street exit. The closure is at East 2nd Street with traffic diverted off at 5th Street. Scroll down past the NBC post to see Benicia PD’s Facebook post regarding the incident. BPD has also reported that the liquid asphalt is entering a highway culvert, possibly on its way to Benicia storm drains, and we’ll follow up on that s we can. Benicia residents, folks picking up kids from Benicia schools, commuters – be warned, be safe and please find alternate routes home. ]

Overturned tanker truck spills asphalt across westbound I-780, injuries reported

Photo from BPD Facebook Page.

Initial reports from a California Highway Patrol incident information page said “6,000 gallons of hot asphalt oil slurries” spilled onto the freeway.

KRON4, by Alex Baker, August 6, 2023 (as of 12 pm)

An overturned tanker truck collision resulting in injuries occurred on I-780 near 2nd Street in Benicia Wednesday morning. The truck has spilled asphalt across the westbound lanes, according to a Sig Alert.

The truck that overturned was hauling 6,000 gallons of hot asphalt. All lanes are currently blocked. The California Highway Patrol said no one was hurt in the crash, which happened just before 9:30 a.m.

The tanker ended up leaking across all the lanes of the westbound I-780 and on the right embankment of the freeway and into a ditch.

Environmental regulators have been called to assess whether any of the substance has reached local waterways. At least one resident asked authorities if the substance hit her fence.

All traffic is being diverted off the freeway at Fifth Street. The CHP is asking people to avoid the area while the cleanup is ongoing Wednesday afternoon. There is no estimate for when the highway will reopen.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Keep reading, there’s more.

Here’s another amazing photo, this time from the folks at NBC that shows the spill from the NBC chopper:

Photo from NBC Bay Area report.

And from Benicia PD’s Facebook Page:

Here’s the full text:

Westbound I-780 in Benicia is closed at East 5th Street due to a semi-truck turnover and hazardous materials spill. Please take alternate routes. It is expected to be closed for an extended period of time.
At approximately 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, September 6th, the Benicia Fire Department responded to a report of a semi-truck turnover. Upon arrival, firefighters found that the semi-truck had been transporting 6,000 gallons of hot asphalt tar in two 3,000 gallon trailers. Both asphalt tar trailers ruptured. The product spilled across the westbound lanes of I-780 along the shoulder and into the culvert. One patient was transported to a local hospital.
Benicia Fire Department, Benicia Police Department, Solano County Environmental Health, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, Caltrans, and California Highway Patrol have responded.
For more information, contact Della Olm, Benicia Fire Public Information Officer at or 707-746-4272.

KQED on Benicia Port fire – Fire Chief reports refinery byproducts are burning, so far residents spared by west winds

Who and what is East of the Benicia Port?  Where is toxic ash falling to ground?


4-Alarm Fire at Port of Benicia – video and report

Crews battling large fire at Benicia Port

ABC7 Bay Area News, April 9, 2022

BENICIA, Calif. (KGO) — A blaze at a Benicia port has grown to a four-alarm fire, officials said on Saturday.

The fire started just after noon at a dock along 1200 block of Bayshore Rd.

Most of the longshoremen working at the dock have been evacuated, officials said.

“Fire at Port of Benicia, a dock ramp is fully engulfed,” tweeted Cornell Barnard who is at the scene.

Officials say there is no shelter-in-place order but could change depending on the wind direction, but in a tweet, Benicia fire department says, “wind conditions are favorable…there continues to be no threat to the public.”

Benicia police are asking motorists to avoid the area due to “heavy police and fire presence.”

At a 4:30p.m. press conference, an official said no injuries have been reported.

Benicia City Council: Please Require Our Firefighters to be Vaccinated

By Roger Straw, September 25, 2021

A Benicia firefighter tested positive for COVID last year – Fire Department staff now only 62% vaccinated

Benicia Fire Department

Yesterday, I published a recent City of Benicia disclosure that over a third of Benicia’s Fire Department staff is unvaccinated.

At the end of that article, I called for the City to consider and adopt a vaccination mandate for all City staff who come into contact with the public, most especially our firefighters who interact intimately at aerosol-sharing levels when responding to 911 calls.

That call is all the more important considering a Vallejo Times-Herald news report from summer of 2020.  On July 2, 2020, the Times-Herald published “Benicia firefighter tests positive for coronavirus“.

The unnamed firefighter told the city on Wednesday that they have the coronavirus, as city officials work with the Solano County Public Health Department to determine the source of the infection, according to a city of Benicia news release.

An almost identical press statement was released by the City of Benicia two months later, on September 10, 2020.  It is unclear whether this is referring belatedly to the same firefighter, or a second firefighter.

The Benicia Fire Department has had over a year living with the reality of COVID among staff.  Surely the Department is well-informed as to the possibility of re-infection and the high danger of transmission by asymptomatic carriers of the delta strain of the virus.

I am personally acquainted with the incredible heroic up-close measures of these public servants in times of 911 crisis.  I want them safe, and I want those they help to be safe from them.

>> If it is not already doing so, I call upon the Fire Department to at minimum test its unvaccinated staff daily, and to rigorously quarantine any who test positive.

>> If it is not already doing so, Fire Department leadership should strongly encourage all staff to get vaccinated.

>> And I call upon our City Council to act quickly to require all City staff who deal directly with the public to be vaccinated, especially those who deal with Benicia residents in emergencies.