MEDFORD, Ore. -- The small grass fires that have recently sparked throughout the region already have families worried about this upcoming fire season. Ella Lane Boutique in Medford is getting ahead of the smoke and selling a reusable filtering face mask called Vogmask. The company’s website says it is sold in more than 40 countries around the world. One of the company’s partners, Wendover Brown, said the masks are heavily used in countries where air pollution is terrible and since they are N-95 grade, they filter out the smoke particulates from wildfires.
“Generally people who have one, especially if they bought during the Camp Fire last November now, I’m getting orders from those people to prepare for any possible risk to air quality in the upcoming fire season,” said Brown.
The same is true for Ashley Lacer at her store, Ella Lane Boutique.
“We had that small amount of smoke for a think that one day last week and we've probably had 10 to 15 people come in, just coming in preparation for the fire season," Lacer said.
Last year, the store sold more than 300 masks. Employees often had to create waitlists for customers and they’d still run out. The fires that have started before fire season has even been declared is bringing concern.
"I have two young children. They are now 3 and 7. As a mom I can't really stop life. And I don't want my children to feel that they have to stop life either," Lacer added.
She first invested in the masks for her family and felt compelled to bring them into the store for the community. The masks she has right now ate N-99 which still filter out the smoke particles.
“We're just doing the best that we can to not just equip ourselves and our family but our customers and their families to be prepared for if the fire season comes again this year that we can still enjoy the Rogue Valley,” Lacer said. “We can still run and get our kids and run errands and go to work and do so in a way that’s comfortable but also safe."
The masks last for three years, according to the manufacturing date. If the date on the box says it was made in 2018, you can use it until 2021. Wendover said since people in southern Oregon will be using the masks heavily during fire season, they will only last for one season at a time.
You can find the usual white N-95 masks at most hardware stores.
Ella Lane Boutique
557 Medford Center
Medford, OR 97504