Hello I'm Chris,
Tonight was one of the worst nights yet, and our calls to the fire department yielded no request from Fire Officials to the Benton County Emergency Management Office, even though the particulate monitors we purchased from purpleair were registering in the extremely unhealthy zone for over an hour and half as we suspect some type of chemical barrel was flaring up.
My Wife, 4 year old son, and I are currently living less than 1500 feet from the center of a subterranean fire burning in what we now know to be an illegal unmonitored dump in Bella Vista Arkansas, it is known as the Trafalger Road Fire, or Bella Vista Stump Dump Fire.
We were initially told it was just a stump dump by our City Officials. This story doesn't only apply to me it apply's to many others living within a half mile radius of this sleeping dragon in our back yards in the Harrington Subdivision in Bella Vista Arkansas 72714.
Our life changed on July 29th 2018 when the fire started. The initial fire went up in a large fireball which you can see in the video I created to raise awareness in our community and to solicit community support to pushing our City Officials to take action after 3 months suffering with our concerns not receiving appropriate attention to what we now know to be a hazard to us.
A few weeks after the initial blaze headaches, congestion, and ear/nose/throat irritation were a daily part of life, we didn't really think too much of this we just thought it was stress, allergies. Several Neighbors were calling the Mayor, State representatives, and State agencies expressing concerns that the smoke from this fire were causing health issues and asking for someone to please help do something about it because it was not only a nuisance having to breath a putrid smell but it was turning our neighborhood into a community of shut-in's because some days the smell was unbearable.
It was only until a family with children suffering medical complications reached out to neighbors and encouraged others to meet at a lawyers office to discuss an option to sue the property owner to put the fire out. The city Fire Chief stated the fire was too dangerous to put out, and that it was the property owners responsibility. The meeting with the other neighbors was a eye opener because not only was this happening to my family, it was happening to many more. It was apparent that this was becoming a public health and safety problem.
After the meeting at the lawyers 3 neighbors went to the City council meeting to try and encourage city officials to do something about it, and after leaving the City Council meeting i received a text message asking if I would be a part of a group of like minded citizens to try and get this fire put out.
It was only until a news story ran about the Lawsuit that our Mayor would have to answer to someone about this issue. Our group organized a community called town hall meeting on December 1st 2018 and got little to no answers from anyone on if this was a reason to be alarmed. Even though we had received a EPA Report which showed multiple non-organic compounds in the air quality testing that the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to conduct after multiple complaints were filed by the citizens impacted by this.
The information and logging timeline of events can be found on the website that I have set up for our Coalition of talented neighbors to inform, document, and to hopefully help others that may be experiencing situations similar to this horrible nightmare happening in a small city just north of the Walmart Home Offices. The website has just launched but the timeline of events as well as links to all finding reports air quality monitoring map the coalition has paid out of pocket to set up just so we can provide scientific evidence, as well as to check on each other when the next pocket of toxic particulate ignites. All of this can be found at www.bvstopthesmoke.org .
I see not only my wife and son's health and quality of life suffering but my own as we were all healthy before and now all on some type of medication, all related to this fire and what we are breathing in on a daily basis. We have to sleep with the central heat off and use space heaters and hope and pray that the clouds of toxic smoke don't infiltrate our home at night. I see my neighbors and community suffering. The bible tells us to love our neighbors and as a Veteran I still stand up for others.
Through this situation, my circle of loved ones has been expanded. In times of crisis all we have to cling to is one another, and had it not happen we may have just spent the rest of our life's passing each other on the street with the occasional wave. This is one of the blessings in this horrific story that is still unfolding, as the Coalition has continues to unearth more of this story, daily we find new evidence of environmental abuse, cover ups, and dark deals between officials, all at the cost of the livelihoods and health of residents.
It is my hope that anyone that reads this understands that in America breathing in your home should not be a luxury, nor should you be turned away by Public Servants.
My Priorities are my family and their safety, which I honestly believe we cannot stay in this home for much longer and cannot sell the home due to my current financial situation, and many others are in the same boat.
I would like to continue to assist my community by continuing serving as one of the leads on this initiative and put a stop to this toxic smoke, and help others who may be struggling with their circumstances.
I thank you for any support you can offer my family, and our initiative to put a stop to the toxic smoke, and to get the answers to why our civic leaders never heard our voices and allowed this to continue as if it was not a risk to us.
Thank you, have a Merry Christmas a Happy new Year, and God Bless.
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