We’ve received several reports from residents in south Sebastian County of ‘loud booms’ in the area. Fort Smith police say the noises are linked to a local landfill.
Capt. Kirk Redwine said he discovered the explosions were coming from several propane-operated cannons set up to fire at random and scare away several thousand seagulls.
The cannons only expel gas and sound somewhat like a shotgun, he said.
Landfill manager John Barnes says the gulls are a seasonal problem as they migrate through the area.
The cannons are normally used during the day to move the birds.
“They shouldn’t have been left on all night and we’ve alleviated that issue and they will not be left on again,” Barnes said. “We’ve repositioned the cannons where they’re not pointed towards any residential areas to minimize that noise that you hear.”
Barnes says to comply with state regulations; they have to keep the birds away from the landfill.
They’ve been using these bird cannons for several years now, he said.