Black smoke, rancid odor pours over Reynolds Lane

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Photo By Dennis Phillips | Robertson County News An overview photo of the burn pit located at the end of Reynolds Lane and maintained by the City of Hearne.

As one Hearne resident described, “smoke just covered the entire area all the way to the New Baden Road. The rancid odor was terrible and I still can not breathe.”

Dale Brannon lives on Reynolds Lane in Hearne, just about a tenth of a mile from a burn pit that is currently in use by the City of Hearne.

“The pit is for limbs, leaves and trees the city removes,” said City Manager Pee Wee Drake early Wednesday, but evidence would contradict that statement.

At the end of Reynolds Lane is a large fire pit, a pit that was filled with burning brush, trees and limbs, as should be according to Drake. Surrounding the pit is wire mesh from a matress box spring, old tires, remenates of plastic, household items and other toxic items made from plastics.

“They just left,” said Bannon. “I went to talk with Drake who said he would have them (City Employees) clean this mess up, but they need to stop dumping and burning trash and tires.”

According to Bannon, the City of Hearne will take several loads to the pit and burn throughout the day causing a noxious odor and filling the entire area with heavy smoke.

“It is only suppose to be used for trees and such,” said Drake, “I sent them out to get it cleaned up.”

Drake went on to make the observation that the area is not fenced or secured and that anyone could just go and dump into those pits.

At the time of this report, Drake has vowed that the area will be cleaned and only limbs and tree trimming debris will be burned in the pit. Drake has also ordered a fence to be constructed as well as signs to prohibit others from dumping or burning in the pit.

Dennis Phillips | Robertson County News

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