☑ Weekly Update - April 16, 2021


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General Operation Updates


Our charge: working to ensure that no more lives are lost at the hands of the 2020 wildfires. The fires changed landscapes and left thousands of burned, damaged trees in its wake, towering next to our communities and roadways. Removing these hazard trees is our top safety priority to ensure no more lives are lost to the 2020 wildfires, now and for future generations. Many people across Oregon are joining us in the recovery effort. Local and county governments are clearing local roads. Utility crews are providing electrical access for rural communities by keeping power lines clear. The United States Forest Service (USFS) is planning for roadside tree removal statewide. Together, we’re removing safety threats and providing a pathway for Oregon’s next chapter to begin.


With hazard tree work in the news this week, read our new hazard tree blog post and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM)/Natural Resource Task Force press release. In the coming weeks, you’ll continue to see more hazard tree content from the Debris Management Task Force (DMTF) and broader statewide recovery effort.


For property owners already with an active Right-of-Entry (ROE) form, please call us if your plans change or you choose to pursue cleanup yourself. It increases costs and slows down work when crews arrive at a home site with an active ROE only to find it already cleared. To help your neighbors and fellow Oregonians, we appreciate a quick call from property owners to our hotline at 503-934-1700 or email to odot.wildfire@odot.state.or.us to let us know your plans have changed.



By the Numbers


Step 2 of removing tree hazards began in December 2020 and will progress through multiple impacted areas simultaneously. We estimate it will take 6-18 months to complete all properties. In total, this work will require marking and cutting almost 150,000 hazard trees and removing ash and debris from nearly 1,400 participating properties.


Below is a summary of the work that has been completed thus far:




Current “By the Numbers” updates are available on the debris and tree removal data dashboard. The interactive status map on the same page provides a visual of all work underway.


Northern Operations


  • Beachie Creek/Lionshead Fire areas (Santiam River corridor, primarily in Marion and Linn counties, Highway 22 and adjacent area): Debris removal crews have increased as work continues in Detroit with more than 60 sites complete. Debris cleanup will begin shortly on Kane’s Marina to help support local priorities, including tourism and economic development efforts. Various stages of debris removal work continues in the Gates area. Moving from east to west, hazard tree marking and tree removal continues between mileposts 27-29, 51-52 and 57-60. Travelers should expect long traffic delays in the area.

  • Echo Mountain Fire area (Lincoln County, Lincoln City area, Highway 18 and adjacent area): As efficient progress continues in the area, work is on track to be completed in May.

  • Holiday Farm Fire area (Lane County, McKenzie River area, Highway 126): Work is moving efficiently and debris cleanup crews continue swift progress. Busy hazard tree activity continues between mileposts 30-38 and 40-43, and at Ben and Kay Dorris State Park and local Lane County parks. Community members and travelers will continue to see noticeable differences in the landscape. Travelers should expect increasingly long traffic delays.

  • Riverside Fire area (Estacada area, Clackamas County, Highways 224 and 211): All assessments and markings of safely accessible hazard trees are complete. Cutting and removal work continues as crews cut trees at milepost 47.9 and stage haul trucks at milepost 49.5. Environmental assessments and hazard tree work for debris removal on select properties continues. Utility companies continue work adjacent to power lines in the area. Due to falling rocks, trees launching from steep slopes and other safety hazards, Highway 224 remains closed. Debris Management Task Force (DMTF) leadership is working with the United States Forest Service (USFS), PGE, Clackamas County and local recreation groups to discuss opportunities for potential reopening opportunities and other ways to help accommodate the recreation season.



Southern Operations


  • Almeda Drive Fire area (Medford/Talent/Phoenix, Jackson County, Highway 99 and Interstate-5): 20 crews continue to remove debris from mobile home parks and single-family home sites in the area, with all mobile home parks wrapping up soon. As crews transition from mobile home parks to single-family home sites, pace will slow slightly. Debris removal on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) direct housing sites is complete and FEMA is looking for opportunities for additional options for housing sites. Hazard tree marking and removal continues along and near the Bear Creek Greenway and near debris removal operations.

  • Archie Creek Fire area (Douglas County, Highway 138): 21 home sites have been cleared as debris removal work continues in the Rock Creek area. Hazard tree crews continue work at Baker Wayside Park and milepost 23.5. Other tree work has taken a brief pause to coordinate and plan for culturally significant sites in the area.

  • South Obenchain Fire area (Jackson County, northeast of Eagle Point, Highways 62 and 140): Right of Entry agreements are complete for 16 properties. Future work plans are underway as local priorities shift to this area.

  • Thielsen Fire area (eastern Douglas County, Highway 138): Due to higher elevation snow, operations will begin later in the spring. Contractor coordination and planning continues.

  • 242 Fire area (Klamath County, Highways 62 and 97): Hazard tree marking is complete at Collier State Park and contractors are planning for hazard tree removal operations in coordination with Oregon State Parks, Klamath Tribes and other stakeholders.




Topics of the Week


  • The Oregon House Special Committee on Wildfire Recovery heard a weekly status update on Monday, April 12. These weekly presentations provide short updates on cleanup progress and can be viewed live each Monday at 5:35 p.m. This week’s update focused on the statewide effort to keep Oregon safe and the hazard tree removal process.

  • HB 2341 passed the Oregon House last week. The bill allows county assessors to adjust property taxes to reflect the loss of value due to the 2020 wildfires.

  • Staff from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden’s office, Lincoln County and the DMTF/ODOT toured the Salmon Village Mobile Home Park in Lincoln County on Tuesday to experience the swift progress being made as the Echo Mountain Fire area approaches cleanup completion. DMTF staff gave a presentation at a town hall hosted by Senator Wyden’s Office on April 15 for Lincoln County and Echo Mountain Fire area residents.

  • Join Oregon Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum for a virtual wildfire insurance town hall on Thursday, April 29 at noon. The town hall will cover the insurance claims process, scams to avoid and how to prepare for the 2021 wildfire season.

  • The USFS launched a storymap page providing an interactive overview of the Riverside Fire. Take a look and save it as a reference for any questions you might have about the fire area.

  • Fire-impacted corridors continue to be extremely busy with wildfire recovery activity—especially throughout the Highway 22 and 126 corridors. Highway 224 remains closed, with discussions underway about what reopening later this year might look like. Community members and travelers should expect long delays. We thank everyone for their patience and cooperation as crews perform this critical work for Oregon and plan for reopening processes. We strongly recommend visiting TripCheck for the latest traffic delay updates and using alternate routes to avoid these areas.


Air Quality Monitoring Report | 3/29 - 4/4


Local environmental health is one of our top priorities. In addition to conducting required asbestos testing in an efficient manner for all debris removal home sites, state contractors are visually monitoring and controlling dust to protect air quality during ash and debris cleanup work. If dust issues occur, our crews will stop work and fix the issue before resuming to protect public health. You can view the latest soil sampling FAQs on our news page. Questions about dust from private contractors are not part of state cleanup work and can be directed to local city and county public health departments.


Each week, contractors report their visual monitoring results, and the testing labs report their sample test results for active work areas. Recent results include:


Almeda Fire

  • Number of properties that had air sampling: 5

  • Number of air samples collected: 29

  • Results above action level: 0

  • Visual monitoring: no recorded dust levels that exceeded action levels


Beachie Creek Fire

  • Number of properties that had air sampling: 5

  • Number of air samples collected: 15

  • Results above action level: 0

  • Visual monitoring: no recorded dust levels that exceeded action levels


Echo Mountain Fire

  • Number of properties that had air sampling: 4

  • Number of air samples collected: 12

  • Results above action level: 0

  • Visual monitoring: no recorded dust levels that exceeded action levels

Holiday Farm Fire

  • Number of properties that had air sampling: 1

  • Number of air samples collected: 3

  • Results above action level: 0

  • Visual monitoring: no recorded dust levels that exceeded action levels


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The “action level” is the threshold for action at a site, or from a lab test result. Learn more about action levels, how we control dust and test air samples in our air quality monitoring FAQ.


For specific air quality monitoring data, email Liz McIntire with the DMTF at elizabeth.mcintire@odot.state.or.us.

If you have questions about hazard tree removal in your community, our hotline can help point you in the right direction. Please access information from your local county government first, and then call our hotline at 503-934-1700 if you need more information.

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.