A shelter-in-place notice is still in place for an area north and east of a fertilizer plant that burned Sunday in Moses Lake.
The Wilbur Ellis fertilizer plant outside Moses Lake burned to the ground Sunday afternoon when the building collapsed, and burning continued long after the fire was brought under control.
Grant County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kyle Foreman said the Shelter in Place order remains in place as the building collapsed on top of an active fire.
“This fire is burning under other materials,” Foreman said. “The strategy is just to let the fire die out rather than continuing to pour water on it and creating a river of debris that would come out of it and potentially contaminate the ground.”
Foreman says the advisory will likely remain in place until Tuesday.
“Our advice is to go indoors, close the doors and windows in your home, and close all outside air vents,” Foreman said.
The state Department of Ecology was scheduled to travel to the fire site Monday evening to conduct an air survey and check some of the runoff from the fire, according to the battalion chief of the county’s 5th Battalion. of Grant, Bob Horst.
The fertilizer plant is located approximately three miles southeast of Moses Lake in block 14900 of Highway 1.3 Southeast.
The Shelter in Place notice covers an area approximately one square mile to the north, east and northeast of the fire.
The Grant County Health District is advising anyone with respiratory issues who lives downwind of the facility to limit outdoor activities as a precaution.
People most at risk for breathing problems, including infants, children, the elderly, as well as people with breathing conditions (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other lung diseases ) are advised to avoid outdoor environments and exercise.
Stay indoors until the fire is completely out or until the extent of air pollution is better known.
If people must go out, GCHD recommends wearing the highest quality mask possible.
The highest quality air pollution masks are N95 or KN95, followed by surgical masks, which offer limited relief. Cloth masks offer the least protection.
No injuries were reported in the fire.