Officials on Tuesday lifted the shelter-in-place notice for residents threatened by unhealthy smoke from the fire that destroyed a Wilbur Ellis fertilizer plant Sunday near Moses Lake.
While the order was called off, the fire continued to smolder Tuesday, leading to unhealthy air in the area, according to a Grant County Sheriff’s Office news release. The Washington State Department of Ecology will continue to test for hazardous particulate matter in the air.
The Grant County Health District and Grant County Sheriff’s Emergency Management recommended the public avoid the fertilizer plant and the areas surrounding it to keep themselves and responders safe. The release said winds were around 9 mph, creating the potential for smoke to travel further.
Officials recommend wearing a KN95 mask if in an area where smoke is visible. KN95 masks can help protect against particulate matter, but do not help when gases are released into the air, the sheriff’s office said.
The plant collapsed after it was fully engulfed in flames on Sunday afternoon, deputies said. The cause of the fire was not determined as of Monday. No one was injured.
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