Shelter In Place Advisory Still In Place For Fertilizer Plant Fire Near Moses Lake
A Shelter in Place advisory is still in place for an area north and east of a fertilizer plant that burned down Sunday in Moses Lake.
The Wilbur Ellis fertilizer plant outside Moses Lake burned to the ground Sunday afternoon when the building collapsed, and smoldering continued well after the fire was under control.
Grant County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Kyle Foreman says the Shelter in Place order remains in place because the building collapsed on top of a lot of active fire.
"That fire is burning underneath other materials," said Foreman. "The strategy is just to let the fire burn itself out rather than continue to dump water on it and create a river of debris that comes out and could contaminate soil."
Foreman says the advisory will likely stay in place through Tuesday.
"Our advice is to...go inside, shut the doors and windows on your house, and turnoff any outside air intakes," Foreman said.
The state Department of Ecology was scheduled to visit the fire site late Monday to conduct air monitoring and check some of the runoff from the fire, according the Grant County Fire District 5 Battalion Chief Bob Horst.
The fertilizer plant is located about three miles southeast of Moses Lake in the 14900 block of Road 1.3 Southeast.
The Shelter in Place advisory covers a roughly one square mile area north, east and northeast of the fire.
The Grant County Health District advises anyone with respiratory issues who live downwind from the facility to limit their outside activity as a precaution.
People most at risk for breathing problems, including Infants, children, the elderly, as well as individuals with respiratory conditions (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other lung diseases) are being asked to avoid outdoor environments and exercising.
Stay indoors until the fire is completely out or until the extent of the air pollution is better known.
If people must go out, GCHD recommends wearing the highest quality mask one can get.
The highest quality masks against air pollution are N95 or KN95, followed by surgical masks, which offer limited help. Cloth masks give the least protection.
There were no injuries reported in the fire.