MOODY, Ala. (WIAT) — Christmas decorations are still up in Richard Harp’s home that borders the burning landfill near Moody.

His family was forced to flee his home in a rush due to fears of what the landfill fire was doing to his family.

”It caused us to look at our sons and say okay, they are 9 and 11 and their little lungs can’t handle this. Our lungs couldn’t handle it. But as adults we think, well, we can seek out another week. But we stayed too long,” said Harp.

At long last, work crews arrived last week to begin putting the fire out and figuring out what exactly is burning. Those moves came after Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency for the area. And despite the fact it took Ivey two months to act, she assures the residents she is concerned about the landfill fire. 

”The Moody crisis is certainly a concern to the people who live in this area. We have declared a state of emergency and we are certainly working with all the local leaders and declared them a state of emergency so they will have all the resources they need. So, we are all concerned about the Moody fire and want to empower all the leaders to do all they can to take care of this situation,” Ivey said.

Harp and his family were long gone by the time the work crews rolled in. He moved his family to an AirBNB that they have rented for the month of January. While still working out the details of what they will do beyond that. Focusing on the immediate helps quell concerns about the future. 

”We’ve kind of said, what is this going to do down the road, we try not to even think about it. We try not to think about what we’ve been breathing for a month. I try not to focus on those things because this could be horrible for the future,” said Harp.

As for the time being, Harp does not plan on returning to his home until the fire is completely out.

The EPA has set up monitors around the fire and that information is being placed on a website they have set up for the public to keep up with their activities. You can find the link here.