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Diesel spills in Big Cottonwood Creek

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BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON — Up to 40 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into Big Cottonwood Creek after a backhoe slipped off its trailer and rolled into the creek ravine.

Fire crews spent more than five hours in the canyon trying to clean up the spill; and no detectable fuel escaped out of the canyon into the county's water supply, said acting battalion chief for Salt Lake County Royce Haakenson.

"The river works as a natural filter anyway," he said. "With the water level the way it is now, it's a good thing we didn't have to shut the supply off. Then everyone would have been all upset. Maybe we would have had to go to water rations or something."

If crews had detected fuel, the water supply might have been stopped, but no fuel was found past Cardiff Fork, Haakenson said.

No one was injured in the 3:30 p.m. accident but the canyon road was shut down for 30 minutes as crews worked to get the backhoe out of the ravine, he said. A few canyon residents were without power during the ordeal as power to fallen lines was shut off so crews could work safely.