The oil-soaked shoreline at Refugio Beach Campground. Noozhawk/Lara Ann Cooper

The oil spill stretches for about four miles, according to Coast Guard officials.

Oil is washing ashore on beaches near Santa Barbara, California, after a nearby pipeline operated by Plains All-American Pipeline ruptured, spilling an estimated 21,000 gallons into the ocean.

Coast Guard officials said the spill stretches for about four miles. It was started when a pipeline that runs along highway 101 along the California coast ruptured at  some point on May 19. Patches of oil pooled in a nearby field before it flowed down towards the sea. Here’s an aerial view from local news station KTLA:

The oil washed ashore in a sandy bay near Refugio Beach Campground in the afternoon,  Noozhawk, a Santa Barbara area news website, reported.

An overhead picture from the US Coast Guard shows oil flowing into the ocean:

And officials photographed the oil washing up onto the rocky shore new the campground.

The oil slick, as viewed from the shore. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

Campers were wading through the spill, trying to capture oil-covered wildlife, Noozhawk said.

Campers try to rescue an oil-covered bird on Refugio beach. It later swam back into the ocean. (Noozhawk/Lara Ann Cooper)
(Noozhawk/Lara Ann Cooper)

Refugio beach and the adjoining campground were quickly closed.Santa Barbara officials warned that nearby El Capitan Beach may also be shut. Refugio is a popular camping spot, and was reportedly fully-booked for the coming Memorial Day weekend holiday.

Plains All-American has not yet commented on the spill.

A 1969 oil spill near Santa Barbara that left a hundred-mile slick of crude is widely cited as one of the key events that gave rise to the US environmental movement.

This post originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner site.

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