BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KFSM) — After what's been close to a year people living in Bella Vista can soon breathe easier, now that the smoldering stump dump is no longer burning.
The Bella Vista Property Owners Association (POA) said the fire on Trafalgar Road is out and there is no fire or smoke at this site.
“The air quality has improved greatly. My family is extremely happy that is the case. We can breathe either, we can go out and do things in the yard. We are no longer hostage,” said Bella Vista resident Aaron DeCelle.
DeCelle is one of many Bella Vista residents who are happy the POA stepped up to put out the fire. He said community involvement was critical in seeing the end of this fire.
“On December 1st we had our town hall meeting and had all the major players from city and state officials from the ADEQ, ADH and five weeks later the Governor was here declaring a state of emergency on the fire, freeing up funds,” DeCelle said.
If you drive by the site on Trafalgar Road right now you may see smoke, but the POA says that is from burning the organic material found at the dump site. Chris Nelson thinks the POA did a really effective job at extinguishing this fire in a rapid time frame.
“I'm pleased that they stepped up and somebody owned it and started taking action on it," Nelson said. "They have been very transparent through this, very informative and open to suggestions from the general public."
The POA said no hazardous substances or waste have been found at the site. They have found tires, a mattress, metal and concrete.
Nelson said he feels relieved to know the end is in sight.
“That's just a huge sigh of relief for me and my family and most of my neighbors to know that this isn`t going to go on for another year, we`re not going to have to endure another winter,” Nelson said.
From this point forward the POA expects the air quality index around this site to just be "unhealthy for sensitive groups."
The latest date from the Arkansas Department of Health said the air quality surrounding the area has been in the "good" range.