Last night, the Grant County Sheriff's office issued a shelter in place advisory for citizens who are downwind from the burned Wilbur Ellis fertilizer plant.
Shelter in place for residents east of the plant
Sunday afternoon, the GCSO and Grant County Fire District 5 responded to the plant, which is located about three miles southeast of Moses Lake.
By the time they arrived, flames were seen shooting from the roof and windows. It rapidly consumed the building, completely destroying the main structure.
Now, officials are extending a shelter-in-place for residents who live a mile or less east or northeast of the plant. According to the GCSO:
"Air sampling this afternoon, coupled with forecasted overnight weather led to the decision to continue the shelter-in-place advisory. The advisory area is one mile to the east-northeast of the fire scene. The area is indicated on the map.
Shelter-in-place means going indoors, shutting your doors and windows, and turning off any outside air intakes. Bring your pets inside, too."
This decision, says the GCSO, was made by combining data from various air quality agencies as well as law enforcement. No word as to when it will be lifted, at least probably not until the plant stops smoldering.
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The facility is likely to be considered a total loss. No word yet from investigators as to what started the fire.