BELLA VISTA (KFSM) — Firefighters are monitoring an underground fire at the stump dump near Trafalgar Road, but officials say there's no reason for residents to worry.
On August 24 the Bella Vista Fire Department said the fire at the former stump dump continues to burn but appears to be close to being resolved.
The Bella Vista Fire Department said Wednesday (Aug. 1) there's no safe way to put out the fire, which likely started from a burning brush pile.
"The heat and smoke are escaping through the cracks in the ground," according to the department. "We will continue to monitor what the fire does and hope it burns itself out."
The department said the area is unsafe and asked residents not to go near the fire. Officials add that residents living near Trafalgar Road should expect heavy smoke in the area.
The department also said they understand that the burning has been an unfortunate and bothersome situation for homeowners in the area.
"We understand that some residents feel like they have been trapped in their own homes or that they have health issues as a result of this situation."
The property where the stump dump sit was leased by the POA from 2008 to 2016 and was used as a collection area for residents' stumps, brush and leaves until 2016.
The current property owner purchased the land earlier this year.
The Bella Vista Fire Department said, "To be clear, the city never owned this land nor did the city every operate any stump dump. The responsibility for this situation lies with the property owner, who has been working with the ADEQ to mitigate the situation,".
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) gave the property owner options on how to put the fire out.
"We have been in contact with the ADEQ throughout this process to be sure something is being done to resolve the issue," the department said.
The area where the stump dump is a watershed to Lake Ann.
"While we, or anyone, can't be sure what is still burning underground, flowing water through there would risk groundwater contamination, without proper control measures in place," says the department.
The Bella Vista Fire Department said you can report complaints directly to the ADEQ by calling 888-233-0326 or online here.