An Arkansas Department of Health air quality evaluation report shows that the air quality near the Trafalgar Road fire, also referred to as stump dump, in Bella Vista has recently been “good.”
The Department of Health collected fine particulate matter at the Bella Vista Fire Department Station 2 and at the city transfer station (pump station) near Cooper Elementary School from Jan. 28 to Jan. 30.
The particulate matter collected from both locations indicate that the air quality falls within the “Good” category of the Air Quality Index, according to a Department of Health report.
Particulate matter that scores between 0 to 50 in the AQI index is considered satisfactory, and “air pollution poses little to no risk,” the report states.
The particulate matter collected at the fire station scored a 17 on Jan. 28, a 23 on Jan. 29 and a 15 on Jan. 30.
Particulate matter collected at the pump station scored a 12 on Jan. 28, a 16 on Jan. 29 and a 17 on Jan. 30.
However, the report advises taking caution in the Trafalgar Road area.
“Conditions in the area surrounding the Trafalgar Road fire will continue to change depending on weather, wind direction, and activity at the site. Breathing in smoke may cause eye and respiratory tract (throat, chest and nose) discomfort and irritation,” the report states.
The report advises that when smoke or strong odors are present, people in the area may protect themselves by taking the following actions:
- If it looks smoky outside, it is a good idea to limit exertion (running, yardwork, playing) during outside activity.
- If you have asthma or other lung diseases, you should follow your doctor’s directions or asthma management plan.
- Run your Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system and keep your air filter clean.
- If you have heart or lung disease, if you are an older adult, or if you have a child, talk with your doctor about whether or when you should leave the area.
The findings of air quality reports released in recent weeks have fluctuated from “Good” to “Moderate.”
People who live in the area of the stump dump fire haver reported having health issues, including a child who fell ill to chemical pneumonia.