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Five safety tips and resources for Spring Break

Ready to get outside this spring break? It seems like everyone we talk to is ready for a change… but in addition to following pandemic protocols, wildfire recovery work continues to ramp up throughout the state and safety is a top priority. Recently relaxed COVID-19 restrictions means that an increased number of Oregonians may be traveling or heading to Oregon’s outdoors for spring break this year. Whether you are planning a staycation or an adventure outside, please recreate responsibly and keep safety in mind.

To help make your plans enjoyable, we’ve provided five tips and resources for planning your spring break activities:

  1. Recreation areas throughout Oregon were hit hard by the 2020 wildfires. Some have reopened, while others remain closed. Discover which sites are open to the public by visiting a helpful new resource: Oregon’s Recreation Site Status Map.

  2. While you’re out, be mindful of what you know. Try to stick to locations you are familiar with as trails affected by the fires may be open, but they could be missing signs or look different than you remember. Many trails are also surrounded by thousands of dead or dying trees--called hazard trees--which pose added threats to what should be an enjoyable outing. Backpacker Magazine provides a helpful list of other things to watch for here.

  3. Know before you go: use to avoid or forecast unexpected road closures and delays in traffic. With so much work underway to remove debris and nearly 300,000 hazard trees, fire-impacted corridors are extremely busy with activity. Please practice caution and expect delays in these areas.

  4. Stay aware and diligent. Keep an eye out for changes in the landscape including water levels and soil erosion.

  5. In your car or out for a stroll in your community, if you come across a work area—whether that be a debris or hazard tree removal crew, utility workers, construction underway, or another activity—provide space and maintain a safe distance away from this important wildfire recovery work. They’re working hard to ensure Oregon can rebuild as soon as possible and the best way to support this effort is by giving them space and prioritizing safety.

By practicing caution and staying safe, you’re helping the wildfire recovery effort progress swiftly, efficiently and safely. It was a long winter. Sunny springtime weather is a welcome transition for many Oregonians. Warmer springtime weather also means drier and improved conditions for wildfire debris cleanup. As pace of work continues to accelerate, nearly 600 home sites have been cleared of debris in the past two months, and many more are ready for cleanup in the coming months. Visit the Step 2 Cleanup Progress page for updates from our Property Status Map and to view our By the Numbers Dashboard.



Wildfire waste and debris removal

The State of Oregon is working with federal, state and local partners to remove hazardous waste, and ash and debris from the 2020 Oregon wildfires safely, efficiently, and as quickly as possible. The Oregon Departments of Transportation, Environmental Quality and Emergency Management are leading the effort, with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency assistance.

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