☑ Weekly Update - Jan 29, 2021
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The northern Oregon operation (Echo Mountain, Riverside, Beachie Creek, Lionshead, and Holiday Farm fire areas) continues to ramp up hazard tree removal work while preparing for upcoming debris removal. Increased hazard tree removal work continues in the Holiday Farm fire area and the debris management team are working with Lane County staff on outreach and notification, including local newspaper, radio broadcasts, Facebook Live events and door hangers. Community members can expect heavy machinery, truck traffic, and other tree cutting, stacking, and hauling operations along most of the McKenzie River Highway. While crews move around, hazard tree work may be the busiest in the area near Blue River.
New tree removal work has also started in the Echo Mountain fire area. Crews continue to prepare for debris cleanup work by assessing future cleanup sites and installing address signs. Lincoln City residents will likely see hazard tree removal operations increase in the Echo Mountain area.
In southern Oregon (Almeda, Archie Creek, Theilson, and 242 fire areas), debris removal continues in Phoenix, Oregon (Jackson County) with approximately 40 of the 210 lots at the Bear Lake Estate mobile home park cleared of debris. Work started January 16th and will transition to the Mountain View Estates mobile home park in Talent next Air quality monitoring will occur for those still remaining in these areas.
In the Archie Creek fire area, tree marking continues in the 138E corridor and crews are navigating various environmental constraints as they continue planning for crew mobilization to remove already felled trees along the corridor. Asbestos testing on properties in the Rock Creek Rd. area will continue next week and will clear the way for Structural debris removal work to begin shortly thereafter. Crews are seeking out efficiencies by identifying sites that are grouped closely together to help speed up operations for a particular area once crews mobilize to begin cleanup work. Ongoing coordination with all counties and county priorities continues through weekly coordination meetings.
Topics of the Week
Hazard Tree Removal Continues in Holiday Farm fire burn area
Impact in Holiday Farm area: Oregon’s Labor Day 2020 wildfires burned and critically impacted a large number of trees throughout the state. Currently, state contracted field crews are marking and removing these dead or dying trees, deemed a threat to people and property by certified arborists, to make way for recovery and replanting. Crews continue to ramp up operations, with the most activity underway in the Holiday Farm Fire burn area. For commuters along McKenzie Highway, we understand how difficult it can be to experience the changes associated with removing these trees and wildfire recovery work in general, while we balance the safety and recovery of Oregonians. We all mourn the impacts of these wildfires but will recover and rebuild together as we work through these challenging times.
Arborists marking trees: Our team’s foresters and arborists determine which trees constitute as hazardous and which deem a threat to people or property. These foresters and arborists are marking trees for removal. Hazard trees are marked with blue dots and a barcode which allows us to create a database of each tree and a map of the overall operation. Keep in mind, even standing trees may be completely hollowed out by fire damage.
Entering private properties: In order to deliver on our commitment to Oregonians safely and efficiently, crews are entering private properties (even if a Right-of-Entry form was not completed) to mark and cut down hazardous trees deemed a threat to users on public roads. As part of the wildfire recovery and removal effort, crews are entering private properties in accordance with Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Right-of-Way operations (Oregon Administrative Rule 734-035-0150). For hazard trees on waterways, our crews will remove trees that have fallen into waterways and pose an immediate hazard to waterway users.
For additional questions, please visit the Wildfire Cleanup homepage Frequently Asked Questions and share with your networks.
Tracking Cleanup Progress
Track what’s happening in your area or around the state by using our two online interactive status tools.
For those who opted into our cleanup program, you can use the Address Lookup Map to see the status of your property — find your access ID in the email or letter the task force sent you in December 2020. If you need assistance, call our hotline at 503-934-1700.
Refer to the County Snapshot Crews Look Ahead Map that predicts where our cleanup crews will be, up to three weeks in advance. As work ramps up, we’ll be able to predict timing and location.
Notifying Property Owners for Cleanup
For crews to begin cleanup, residents need to complete the Private Property Debris Removal (PPDR) Questionnaire so we have a general idea of what’s on your property. Our cleanup crews will then use your answers collected from your PPDR to perform an initial property assessment. Before we officially start cleanup, we will contact private property owners beforehand. For general notifications, we're also partnering with your County to get the message out.
State contractors are visually monitoring and controlling dust to protect air quality during ash and debris cleanup work. At any given time, a percentage of sites will have air monitoring equipment present. The Oregon Department of Human Services is coordinating temporary housing for those who wish to relocate during any ash and debris removal work happening on or near their property.