Grant County firefighters and deputies are still advising people to stay away from the immediate area of last week's Wilbur Ellis fertilizer plant fire.

The public is also being asked to avoid any areas where smoke can be smelled or seen.

Grant County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Kyle Foreman says progress is being made to remove the health threat.

"The building was designed to collapse in on itself if it caught fire," said Foreman. "It did just that. But when you do that the debris is on top of materials that are still burning. And so we now have an excavation crew that's going to be removing debris so they can access any hot spots that are underneath."

The plant outside Moses Lake burned to the ground Sunday October 23 when the building collapsed, and smoldering continued well after the fire was under control.

Grant County Fire District #5 and contracted cleanup crews have been on site working to vent, extinguish and remove smoldering debris.

A statement from the fire district said contracted crews have continued to monitor air quality throughout the process and have not detected any new or elevated levels of gases.

The fertilizer plant was located about three miles southeast of Moses Lake in the 14900 block of Road 1.3 Southeast.

There were no injuries reported in the fire.

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