Firefighters contain fuel spill on Keuka Lake

John Christensen The Chronicle-Express
Dresden and Branchport/Keuka Park Fire Volunteers responded to a report of a fuel spill on Keuka Lake Nov. 19.

The Branchport-Keuka Park and Dresden Fire Departments were called out at about 1 p.m. Nov. 19 to a gasoline spill on Keuka Lake near 2717 Lower West Lake Road between Keuka Park and Penn Yan.

Resident Jim Trezise was sitting at his desk in his home when he noticed a strong smell of gasoline. Stepping outside, he noted the smell coming from the lake and saw the telltale rainbow sheen on the water’s surface all along his waterfront.

Calling 911, Trezise says the B-KPFD was quick on the scene, with DFD as the Yates County Spill Response Team not far behind. Floating booms were deployed to contain the spill, which had spread northward over approximately 200 feet of shoreline. The team was aided by the calmness of the lake and the mild southeasterly wind. The N.Y.S. Dept. of Environmental Conservation was also notified.

Neighboring witnesses said they noticed a pontoon boat with an older model outboard motor leave a dock south of Trezise’s, headed toward Penn Yan not long before they also noted the smell. No word yet if that boat’s operator has been identified or charged for the spill.

Trezise made special mention of the fire departments’ responsiveness and their expertise in handling the spill.