ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — The St. Clair County Commission has declared a state of emergency as they begin the process of putting out a fire at a landfill that has been burning in the area since November.
On Tuesday, the Commission unanimously passed the declaration in front of a room full of concerned residents in hopes of working toward finding out what is actually burning and how to extinguish it.
Since the fire has been burning, residents have reported issues that are impacting the community and wildlife in the area.
Richard Harp, who lives 100 yards from the fire, has had to move his family into an Airbnb due to the impact it’s had on their health and home.
“This smoke has brought critters into the house, birds in the attic, we’ve had mice in the house, they are trying to get away from the smoke,” Harp said. “They’ve chewed through the HVAC, which has brought more smoke in.”
Health wise, Harp said that after visiting the doctor for a fever over 100 degrees he was told that he had bronchitis that was brought on by smoke inhalation.
James Mulkey, a fire marshal with the Moody Fire Department, said that he has battled fires for 33 years and has never seen anything like this blaze.
“I’ve seen a variety of different types of fires as a volunteer and then in paid service working with hazardous materials teams and regular structural firefighting, and I’ve never run into anything quite as complex as this,” Mulkey said.
A work session to begin laying out a plan of attack to get this fire under control has been scheduled for Thursday.
Be sure to stay with CBS 42, as this is a developing story.