People that live nearby the Trafalgar Road fire also known as the stump dump in Bella Vista are taking concerns over their health into their own hands.
“They are telling that it is okay to go and to play and that its fine but its not fine and I have x-rays to prove it,” said Organizer of Stop the Smoke Coalition, Amber Goin.
It’s a subject that is hard for Goin to even talk about after her son became sick from what she and others believe is from toxins coming from the Trafalgar Road fire.
“I have a sick child from negligence in this community that is not being taken care of and now he is the one suffering,” said Goin.
The suffering prompted Goin to help organize a way for those living near the fire to get information for many in the area, including seniors who might not be able to access updates online.
“This has been known to affect elderly people and younger people just with compromised immune systems,” said Goin. “We’re trying to pass out information to the community, we’re trying to give them the best means to protect themselves.”
Means that include handing out face masks to protect many like senior, Joann Diewock, who lives near the fire.
“I didn’t realize what was happening, but I’m a big gardener and spend a lot of time outdoors and for me its kind of turned me into a couch potato right now,” said Diewock.
Some are also taking on the title of ‘street captain’, going door to door to update people about the situation who may not have social media or internet.
“Many folks don’t have social media, don’t have access iPhones, don’t have access to this type of news,” said Street Captain Debra Emmons.
For organizers, this was more than just spreading resources, it was also a way to get locals active to do what they can to help others nearby.
“They want to be able to reach out and talk to their neighbors to give them information and help them protect themselves because everyone knows how bad it is here,” said Goin.
A step closer to a fresh breath of air for many who say they are living life in a way they never expected.
“The sooner it gets taken care of, the better it will be so life for a lot of people including me will get back to normal,” said Diewock.