FORESTDALE Ala. (WIAT) — Residents in a Forestdale neighborhood are calling for help. This comes after the Jefferson County Health Department says residents are dealing with an illegal dump fire.
“It’s like a volcano just coming up out the backyard… smoke, toxic day and night all down the hill all throughout the neighborhood,” Forestdale resident Eric Williams said.
Williams said he, as well as many other neighbors, believe their cries for help are being ignored, adding that they have been dealing with the smoke for more than a month and little has been done to resolve the issue.
“They say it’s not like it’s going to blaze up or burn up the neighborhood but if you don’t feel safe you can find you somewhere else to stay,” he said.
Resident Albert Bry, who lives right beside the home where the fire is burning, is frustrated as well.
“We don’t know the health concerns as it relates to what burning, so we just need some answers. Ordinarily, you wouldn’t want your kids out here in this you don’t know what they are breathing the long term effect this could have,” Bry said.
The Jefferson County Health Department has sent local and state inspectors out to monitor and work toward putting out the fire. However, they say with the fire being so large and underground, they are facing many challenges.
“What are the options to get a fire like this that is on private property getting that extinguished? So that it doesn’t run off into any streams, rivers, any surrounding water bodies that also residents’ health is protected throughout the entire process. It does pose a threat anytime you have something like that it puts particles in the air we find it’s dangerous to public health” said Jonathon Stanton, director of environmental health for the Jefferson County Health Department.
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