Letter: Heavy smoke from burning debris

Letter: Heavy smoke from burning debris

Raphael Cosme
St Augustine, FL

Dear Historic City News editor:

For more than a week, Vallencourt Construction Company has been cleaning an empty lot near Heritage Park and San Salito subdivisions for development.

Instead of hiring a truck company to remove the debris, they decided to burn it. The heavy, uncontrolled smoke has been moving all over the neighborhood since Saturday.

“I have received only two complaints recently, and each time we sent a Forest Ranger firefighter to investigate and evaluate the burning being conducted,” Anthony Petellant of the Florida Forest Service told me Monday after I sent images and videos of the smoke.

I sent a copy to St Johns County Commissioner James K. Johns.

Today was the worst day. The smoke spread directly to the homes. Some residents were complaining of respiratory problems, asthma, coughing etc.

The Bunnell District Manager told me, “An air curtain incinerator has been recommended for the site but it will take a little time for the company to locate, rent, and set one up.” I was told that as complaints come in, they will address them and he invited me to let him know if there is additional information that I would like.

At this moment the residents of the Heritage Park and San Salito subdivisions and I are waiting for a response from the Vallencourt Construction Company and an update from Florida Forest Service.

I took my time to check on it today and I found the heavy smoke was spreading.

I suspect that there are some violations and it needs to be investigated.


© 2017 Raphael Cosme for Historic City News

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