Grant County Health District Warn of Fumes from Wilbur Ellis Fire
Update: Oct. 28, 2022 at 5:33 p.m.
Grant County Sheriff's Office states that will will be sending cleanup crews to extinguish the remaining debris and excavate the site on the morning of Oct. 29.
This may result in an excess of particulate matter (PM2.5), increase presence of sulfur dioxide (SO₂), and/or release additional gases or other unknown matter into the air.
Crews will monitor air quality while they work to excavate the site.
Original: Oct. 28, 2022 at 3:40 p.m.
The Grant County Health District (GCHD) is advising residents to be wary of downwind gasses coming from the Wilbur Ellis facility fire in Moses Lake.
Since Oct. 27, debris from the Wilbur Ellis fire continues to smolder and emitting smoke, particulate matter, and noxious gasses.
The downward winds are coming from the east side of the site.
Particulate matter are microscopic particles that can be inhaled and cause health concerns.
One of the noxious gasses include sulfur dioxide (SO2), a colorless gas with a pungent odor that is a byproduct of decomposed fertilizer products that has already been detected in air monitoring tests.
SO2 can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and airways, cause nasal congestion, burning or tearing up, choking, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
The public is advised to stay away from this site and avoid areas where you can see or smell the smoke.
Those who can’t avoid the smoke can wear a KN95 mask, however that will only block out particulate matter, not SO2.
Anyone experiencing SO2 exposure side effects should contact their local healthcare provider.