Improving Air Quality in the Worst Wildfire Season Ever

The 2018 California wildfire season was the worst in all of recorded history.

It brought with it the single deadliest wildfire on record: Camp Fire in Northern California, which claimed 85 lives. It also brought the most destruction, with 1.8 million acres burned across the state. 

As the fires ravaged the state, they also turned the air toxic. The smoke put millions at risk of serious health problems. Hospitals were put on high alert. Schools were closed. And calls started coming into Sunbelt Rentals for solutions.

Contractors large and small began calling Sunbelt Rentals local Climate Control office, looking for available air scrubbersozone, and hydroxyl generators. Then, the requests got bigger, with national companies orchestrating massive on-site mobilizations calling for large quantities of the same machines. Our team knew we could help, so our regional leadership team put together a plan.

We brought in more than 25 stores to begin moving gear into the affected areas. We coordinated with suppliers to drop-ship trailer loads of HEPA and charcoal filters. We worked constantly to match product availability to the needs of crews battling blazes at both ends of the state. And over a period of two weeks, we were able to fill orders for hundreds of scrubbers and odor-control gear to all affected areas.

We couldn’t stop the fires from wreaking havoc across the state, but we could take steps to improve air quality and, subsequently, the health of residents in the most impacted parts of California. Our goal is to continue doing just that — to supply odor control and air quality equipment throughout the country for many years to come.  

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