Home > News

Neighborhood fears tires may be breeding ground for mosquitoes

It is an area near Mountain Home in Arkansas. 

You can see the tires from this satellite image on 

google maps with stacks and stacks and stacks of tires. 

Thousands in each. Some are baled. Many are uncovered currently. They are located off County Road 784. You can also see many from the road. That number of tires stacked on top of one another would reach the top of the Empire State building 570 times.We talked to people about their worries and also officials who say the end of the road for tire troublees may be in sight."There's always something that can breed there," said Centia Tischer. "There are bugs, mosquitos. My husband and I are on a well and we won't drink the water. There are snakes."

Arkansas's Department of Environmental Quality confirms there are one million tires currently on the site. There are in charge of what's next for the former Damco project.

"We are very concerned about the water," said Jeff Little who lives nearby.

He is on a committee called Citizens for Clean Water. "Citizens for Clean Water" has been studying this for quite a while and they are concerned about the health problems. We are trying to push so they get started. We also worry about Zika. It's not here but it could be."

"It just looks bad and all those mosquitos are not good," said his wife, Bonnie Little.

"Can you fathom one many tires?" said Harrison Mayor, Dan Sherrell. "I can't."

Sherrell says for a number of reasons with health concerns at the top of the list the tires have to go. His county is among six with the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District.

"When have got tires you got standing water the mosquitoes are going to be bad," he said.

"Anything we can do to mitigate mosquito problems is time well spent," said another member of the solid waste district, Mountain Home mayor Joe Dillard.

"We are hoping ADEQ has decided to put this baby to rest be done with it."

Dillard explained there were never supposed to be anywhere near one million tires on the property. However, Damco's late owner kept taking tires well past its limit. He says it's been a major frustration but now the tire trouble may be skidding to a long awaited stop.

"I think we see light at the end of the tunnel," he said.

ADEQ now in charge of the site says there is a plan in place to complete work started on a dam as originally intended. 
Still uncovered, loose tires would be baled like the others and used for the dam. 
ADEQ says work will start this month and take up to six months. Residents say they are happy to hear it but the department better hurry up. The heat is here and so is the rain, and so are plenty of mosquitoes.

"All the neighbors, we want them gone," said Tischer.

The Department of Environmental Quality had planned to announce a start date for the project today. It says fire is the main concern.

Meanwhile the Arkansas Department of Public Health says people are right to be reasonably concerned about West Nile Virus. Officials say they should remove standing water from around their homes and take precautions to avoid bites.