Cleanup Ongoing At Site Of Cuyahoga River Fire In Summit County

The Cuyahoga River in Gorge Metro Park.
Most of Gorge Metro Park has reopened to the public following the fire, but the Highbridge Trail parking lot is closed and fishing is not permitted through Aug. 29. [Summit Metro Parks]

Cleanup of the Cuyahoga River is ongoing in Summit County after a crash on Route 8 sparked a fire Tuesday.

Fuel spilled from a gas tanker during the crash traveled through a combined sewer overflow, caught fire, and briefly traveled into the river, according to Summit Metro Parks Marketing and Public Relations Manager Lindsay Smith.

The fire was extinguished quickly, Smith said, but cleanup and monitoring will continue through the rest of this week. Containment booms are being used to prevent spread of any fuel in the river.

“An environmental cleanup crew is still working in Gorge Metro Park to contain the spill,” Smith said, “and they’re working closely with Ohio EPA to monitor the situation.”

Any potential long-term effects are not clear at this time, Smith said, but the Ohio EPA will continue to monitor the situation.

“Right now, that’s something they’re taking the lead on, and Summit Metro Parks keeps in touch with them as they go through that work to assess the damage,” Smith said.

The Highbridge Trail lot is closed and no fishing is permitted through August 29, Smith said. The rest of Gorge Metro Park is open to the public.

The Tuesday fire also resulted in the evacuation of North High School, Harris Jackson CLC and homes within a half mile radius due to the smoke. A spokesperson for Akron Public Schools said administrators, teachers and staff were in the buildings but no classes were in session. 

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