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Gas Leak In The Valley Is So Bad Planes Can't Fly Over It Now

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Low-level flights are prohibited over the massive natural gas leak near Porter Ranch over fears planes could ignite the fumes.

On Wednesday, the FAA issued an alert to pilots that a Temporary Flight Restriction up to 2,000 feet in altitude and with a half-mile radius above the vicinity of the Porter Ranch was put in place as a precaution. Since it was discovered in late October, Southern California Gas' Aliso Canyon Storage Facility has been leaking an estimated 50,000 kilograms per hour, accounting for a quarter of the state's methane emissions over the same time period.

The ban was put in place after a private plane buzzed over the site of the leak over the past weekend. "We have concerns that if planes fly over that area it could impact worker safety at the site," Dan Dout, assistant director for response at the state’s Office of Emergency Services, told the Los Angeles Daily News.

The flight restriction is currently in place until March of 2016, and SoCalGas says it could still take months until they are able to cap the leak. Until then, the utility has already relocated 700 families, who say the fumes are making them sick, and has received requests from 2,000 more.

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Check out this eerie infrared video that shows the fumes billowing over the hills: