☑ Weekly Update - April 2, 2021


We’re all in this together. Please help share this information with your networks and communities.

General Operation Updates


An April 15 deadline has been set for property owners to submit a Right-of-Entry (ROE) agreement in Lincoln County to ensure everyone can participate before work is complete in the area.


As debris removal work begins to wrap up in the Echo Mountain fire area, we want to ensure that any remaining property owners not yet participating can still opt in to the state cleanup program before crews mobilize to the next area. To help with this, the deadline to submit an ROE agreement in Lincoln County is April 15. Your assistance helps your fellow Oregonians by allowing our crews to maximize their efficiency for all impacted areas of the state.


Fire-impacted corridors continue to be extremely busy with wildfire recovery activity—especially throughout the Highway 22 and 126 areas.


Highway 224 remains closed. Motorists and community members should expect long delays, and we thank everyone for their patience and cooperation in being safe and patient drivers and providing crews the space and time to safely perform this critical recovery work for Oregon. We strongly recommend checking TripCheck for the latest traffic delay updates and using alternate routes to avoid these areas, when possible.


Hazard tree removal crews will take a brief pause in the Archie Creek Fire area to plan for cultural archeological areas.


This brief pause allows crews to strategize and adjust work plans to reflect our commitment to safety and protecting natural and cultural resources.


Crews will begin using drones to aid in cleanup efforts.


In many fire damaged areas, steep slopes and rugged terrain can make it difficult for crews to assess hazard trees. Starting this week, we will begin using drones equipped with Lidar (which stands for light detection and ranging) technology to create three-dimensional renderings of specific fire areas to assess hazard trees. Drones will also be used to remotely mark hazard trees after they have been properly identified. Drone work will begin on Highway 224 in the Riverside Fire corridor.

By the Numbers


We estimate it will take between 6-18 months to complete work on all properties. In total, this work will require marking and cutting more than 290,000 hazard trees and removing ash and debris from more than 1,500 participating properties.


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





Current “By the Number” 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): Crews continue debris removal work in Detroit with early phases of debris removal continuing in the Gates area. Moving from east to west, hazard tree marking and tree removal on impacted properties continues between mileposts 54-55 and 57-60. Tree tagging and slash processing is underway at milepost 37.8. Community members will continue to see significant differences in the landscape along the Highway 22 corridor. Long traffic delays are expected in the area check TripCheck for the latest traffic updates.

  • Echo Mountain Fire area (Lincoln County, Lincoln City area, Highway 18 and adjacent area): Swift progress continues in the Echo Mountain Fire area where Debris Management Task Force (DMTF) officials anticipate that debris and tree removal work will be complete soon. Crews have started work on 31 sites at the Salmon River Mobile Village. All fire-impacted property owners not yet participating in the cleanup process need to submit a ROE agreement no later than April 15 to opt in before crews mobilize to other impacted areas. Hazard tree removal work continues near debris removal operations.

  • Holiday Farm Fire area (Lane County, McKenzie River area, Highway 126): Ash and debris crews continue making progress in the area. Busy hazard tree activity continues between mileposts 30-36 and 38-43, and at Ben and Kay Dorris State Park. Expect tree removal crews in the area as hazard tree work begins in local Lane County parks. Community members and travelers will continue to see major differences in the landscape, as well an increase in long traffic delays. Motorists in the area are asked to use caution, respect delays and use alternate routes when possible.

  • Riverside Fire area (Estacada area, Clackamas County, Highways 224 and 211): Heavy hazard tree marking and removal continues as crews work between mileposts 37-38 and 41-47. Crews will use drones to mark trees on extremely steep slopes, which is safer and more efficient than having to scale the treacherous terrain. Environmental assessments are underway for the early stages of debris removal. Highway 224 remains closed to protect the public from safety hazards including falling rocks and trees falling from steep slopes. We continue to work with the recreation community on potential reopening timelines once the area becomes safe for motorists. Utility companies will be working adjacent to power lines in the area.




Southern Operations


  • Almeda Drive Fire area (Medford/Talent/Phoenix, Jackson County, Highway 99 and Interstate-5 (I-5): Crews continue to remove debris from eight area mobile home parks, with all mobile home parks wrapping up soon. Crews continue work at Oak Crest Way in Medford. Debris removal on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) direct housing sites is complete.

  • Archie Creek Fire area (Douglas County, Highway 138): Crews continue debris removal work in the Rock Creek area, and work at the local fish hatchery is expected to be complete this week. Hazard tree removal work will continue at mileposts 29-30 while most tree work will take a brief pause to coordinate and plan for culturally significant sites in the area. Travelers and local communities should expect traffic delays.

  • South Obenchain Fire area (Jackson County, northeast of Eagle Point, Highways 62 and 140): ROE agreements are complete for 16 properties. Local coordination is underway to shift resources to this area as operations in the Almeda Fire area progress.

  • Thielsen Fire area (eastern Douglas County, Highway 138): Due to higher elevation snow, operations will increase later this spring focused on hazard tree removal in warmer weather. Contractor coordination and planning work continues.

  • 242 Fire area (Klamath County, Highways 62 and 97): Hazard tree marking is mostly complete, with some work underway at Highway 97 milepost 244 and continuing work at Collier State Park. DMTF staff continue working with tribal and county leaders to ensure operations protect cultural resources in the area.



Topics of the Week



The House Special Committee on Wildfire Recovery heard a weekly status update on Monday, March 29. These weekly presentations provide short updates on cleanup progress and can be viewed live each Monday at 5:35 p.m.

Free private well testing is available for Oregonians with damaged or destroyed properties resulting from the 2020 wildfires. The DMTF is working with our partners at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Oregon Health Authority (OHA), and the Drinking Water Supply Task Force to help share these helpful resources with those who may need it most. More information, eligibility criteria and applications are online. The application deadline is May 15. Vouchers are limited, so apply today!

The DEQ and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will work closely with DMTF crews in the coming weeks to remove household hazardous waste on approximately 50 home sites. While this work happened during the Step 1 cleanup process, this next phase of work will mostly cover newly submitted ROE sites to ensure that home sites are ready for rebuilding and to safeguard the health and safety of debris removal crews.

The United States Forest Service (USFS) has shared its plans for hazard tree removal on USFS land and roadsides. This work will happen in the same corridors as DMTF hazard tree removal and will likely overlap in some places. As we remove thousands of trees posing safety threats to communities and property owners, other federal and state agencies are working on reforestation and replanting efforts. Local city and county officials and other nonprofit and volunteer groups continue to work on re-planting and reforestation efforts on private property and other areas. While an unprecedented demand for forest tree seedlings continues to present challenges, work is underway to reseed, replant and restore as part of the long path towards helping Oregon recover.

Air Quality Monitoring Report | 3/22-3/28


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: 9

  • Number of air samples collected: 43

  • 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: 4

  • Number of air samples collected: 12

  • 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: 1

  • Number of air samples collected: 3

  • Results above action level: 0

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



***


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.