As California residents face the worst air quality in the world, Interstate Restoration continues to move hundreds of air scrubbers into the state.

Interstate is one of North America’s leading disaster-recovery companies, and at this stage in the California fires, the main focus is on breathability. Restoration of buildings and businesses will follow as soon as conditions allow, and that restoration activity could translate into a 12- to 18-month timeline in some cases.

Meanwhile, Interstate has deployed more than 1,500 air scrubbers to 200 job sites, with more scrubbers on the way for perhaps twice as many jobs. Tami Casey, Interstate’s regional director in the Hayward, Calif. office, estimated that the company could end up with 2,000 air scrubbers serving the areas affected by Northern California’s Camp Fire and Southern California’s Woolsey Fire.

“Our workers are witnessing some horrific conditions, and we are anxious to help as much as possible,” Casey said. “Fortunately, we are able to pull a lot of air scrubbers out of North Carolina and Florida where we had been using them in our hurricane response, where they are no longer needed.”

Interstate is also trucking scrubbers from Phoenix, Denver, and anywhere else across the country where they can be found. Most of the clients calling most urgently for the scrubbers are in the retail, telecommunications, apartments and senior-living industries. For the latter, those scrubbers are literally life-savers, pulling harmful particles out of the air and allowing people with respiratory problems to get the oxygen they need.

“Our main business is the restoration of buildings, but the people inside those buildings come first,” Casey said, adding that Interstate’s goal is to help people remain in place whenever possible.