Joan’s Ringside Seat: Talent wildfire debris cleanup nears completion



The September 2020 wildfires are recorded in history as one of Oregon’s most devastating disasters, burning more than one million acres across the state, destroying 4,000 homes and businesses and claiming the lives of nine Oregonians. Approximately two-thirds of all homes lost in the wildfires are within the Almeda Drive Fire corridor in Jackson County with 2,482 residential structures and 173 commercial structures destroyed.


In this video, Talent Resident Joan Williamson tells her firsthand account of navigating evacuation as a result of the Almeda Dr. fire and learning that her house had been saved. She also describes her experience witnessing the cleanup take place around her and how the culmination of this work will ultimately lead to welcoming her neighbors and friends back home.

As of June 2021, more than 80% of all homes in the Almeda Drive Fire area enrolled in the state-managed cleanup have been cleared of ash and debris. Work is expected to be complete in the summer paving the way for rebuilding and long-term recovery in the region.

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.