Efforts are officially underway to put out the Trafalgar Road fire that’s been burning in Bella Vista for almost a year.
According to the Bella Vista Property Owners Association (BVPOA) the work will be done by June 13.
Crews will start putting out the fire Saturday, May 18, but what happens to the hazardous waste and when will residents finally see relief?
“I think it’s good that somebody’s stepping up to the plate and trying to take action. If it speeds this up and gets this fire out quicker and eases suffering for residents it’s a good thing,” says Chris Nelson, Bella Vista Resident.
According to documents released by the POA Thursday, May 16, the company E3 out of Mississippi is in charge of putting out the fire.
The process includes fire-fighting water spray, trench burning, fire breaks, and re-compacting excavated and processed materials.
One thing Nelson is concerned about now is, “will this process actually be safe?”
“Private entities do business a certain way but being that it’s a city problem, a state problem and an environmental problem we hope there’d be a little more oversight,” said Nelson.
According to the plans, hazardous waste will be stabilized, segregated, and stored in approved transportation containers from the Department of Transporation and moved safely to a landfill.
Materials like asphalt, brick, concrete, ceramics, and uncontaminated soil or dirt will be reused or removed to an appropriately permitted landfill. That location is still unknown.
Once all material is sorted and disposed of, the trenches will be filled with soil to prohibit the area from catching fire in the future.
“The transparency with the POA, the information, resources on the website seem to very valuable and timely. If we send in an email usually we’ll see information about that come up in a few days instead of silence,” says Nelson.
Nelson says he’s grateful the POA stepped up and is taking care of its residents. When he thinks of what’s to come, relief is the one word that comes to mind.
“To know that we can step out of our front doors and not worry about breathing the air and start to live a normal life again,” says Nelson.
The POA has warned residents that the smoke will get worse while they’re trying to put the fire out.
According to the plan, the site will be secured 24 hours a day to evaluate air quality on-and off-site. If the air quality thresholds are exceeded, smoke mitigation measures will be implemented like using water or misting systems.
For more information on the plan, click here.