BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KNWA) — Senator Tom Cotton visited the Trafalgar Road fire, also known as the stump dump, for the first time Friday afternoon.
“I want to make sure the leadership at the EPA knows that this is a high priority for me,” Cotton said. “I have a conversation next week with the acting administrator of the EPA, so I wanted to be able to describe it in detail to him and also talk about the conversations I had with state and local experts, make sure that it’s front of mind.”
Cotton praised the work already done by state officials and the ADEQ, like building a trench around the underground fire. He hopes the price tag to extinguish the fire could be lowered from what Governor Asa Hutchinson estimated to be around $21 to $37 million.
“It’s possible the federal government may have the ability to offset some of those costs through various funds, that’s one conversation I’ll be having,” Cotton said.
The findings of air quality reports released in recent weeks have fluctuated from good to moderate. Most recent reports from the Bella Vista Fire Station 2 show the air quality is good, but can change based on weather and wind direction.
As the best method to put out the fire is to be determined, Cotton says he’ll be meeting with families who have experienced health issues as a result of the smoke — all the while continuing to monitor the site.
“Right now I want to make sure public health is safe,” Cotton said.