Tuscumbia residents continue to suffer from July plot fire

Tuscumbia residents continue to suffer from July plot fire
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 6:32 PM CDT
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TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WAFF) - Frustration is boiling over in the Tuscumbia community. In July, a plot of land on Underwood Mountain Road was part of a raging fire. Firefighters battled the fire for days and used over 100,000 gallons of water to contain the blaze.

The smoldering pile left from that fire has become a source of outrage for people living in the area. Residents say nothing has been done to stop the steady pillars of smoke.

Tuscumbia resident Jessica Borden’s daughter has asthma and has expressed her frustrations with the lack of inaction taken to put out the smoke.

“We’ve contacted several people and everybody seems to hand it off to the next person,” Borden said. “Right now we’re with ADEM and so far, I don’t think anybody’s heard anything back from them about the air pollution that we believe is going on and affecting everyone in the community, especially, the little kids.”

Ashley McBrayer, who has left her home to live with her mother until the smoke is resolved, says her family has taken action but is unsure when it will be handled.

“My husband talked to the county commissioner’s office this morning and he also called Affordable Tree Services,” McBrayer said. “They own their own clean-up so I don’t know if they’ll be able to do anything soon or not, but that’s all we’ve talked to right now.”

Owner of Affordable Tree Services Lee Cosby says he believes someone came onto his land and started the fire back in July. Cosby also said the smoke has lasted this long because old wood is buried under gravel, which keeps the underground hot.

Jessica Borden believes the lack of urgency in stopping the smoke comes from the owners of the land not living in the area.

“I don’t believe that the person who owns the land has any care for the community. I do believe that if they had to stay here and live here that they would understand more of where we were all coming from as a community,” Borden said. “And I think we just want the smell out. The smell gone, the fire out, so we can live our normal life instead of having to breathe smoke every day.”

Cosby tells me he’s already hired a company to come and put out the smoke but says there is no timetable for when that will happen.