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Using caution around smoldering stumps

Did you know that the inside of a tree can catch fire and continue to burn for many months after a forest fire has been extinguished? These smoldering stumps are another reminder of the dangers surrounding hazard tree removal in fire corridors and why continued caution is important.

The 2020 Labor Day fires were all deemed controlled by February 2021, meaning that the wildfires are extinguished within the fire perimeters and not expected to spread. Stumps and root systems throughout the fire areas, however, are still smoldering and could put out smoke or flames for several months. 

The smoldering fire inside the tree – as seen in the image – will eventually hollow out the trunk and the connected root system. The burning roots can also cause hollow spots underground, presenting additional hazards to recovery crews.

While smoldering stumps are normal, fire staff closely monitor these “smokes” to make sure they stay put and don’t ignite any adjacent plants or brush.



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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