☑ Weekly Update - April 23, 2021


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General Operation Updates


Milestone marker: less than four months into operations, debris cleanup work is halfway done. Debris Management Task Force (DMTF) crews have already cleared half of the total 2,788 home sites participating in the state program, marking one more giant step towards getting families and communities back into homes. As swift progress continues, the Echo Mountain Fire area is slated to be completed next month, debris work has started in the Riverside Fire area and nearly 1,400 fire-destroyed home sites statewide are now cleared. While pace will slow slightly once crews tackle home sites that are more spread out, this halfway milestone is a major victory for Oregon’s recovery.


As Oregonians help one another get through this difficult time, we’re committed to employing a local Oregon workforce. To reflect this, nearly nine in 10 of all subcontractors working with us are local Oregon businesses. Nearly 70 percent of the total DMTF workforce crew are Oregon residents, and nearly half are either Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity (COBID) or certified small businesses, meaning everyone is getting an opportunity to participate.


At the doorstep of another potentially severe wildfire season, it takes everyone pitching in to avoid another 2020. A global pandemic. Catastrophic wildfires. 2020 will be remembered by many with apprehension and unease as the year that seemingly lasted a decade. We must all work together to avoid another devastating fire season. With significantly more wildfires already reported this year than last, we’re calling on all Oregonians to be extra fire-wise and help ensure that no more lives are lost this year. While our crews help create fire-resilient areas and defensible space on fire-damaged properties by removing adjacent hazard trees, it is up to all of us take stock of our property before it’s too late. Bookmark Keep Oregon Green for more information and keep tabs on large fire activity in Oregon.


Our charge: working to ensure that no more lives are lost at the hands of the 2020 wildfires. The 2020 wildfires forever 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.


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 more than 140,000 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 continue to ramp up as significant work continues in Detroit. Debris cleanup is already complete at Kane’s Marina in time for a local fishing tournament and other critical tourism and economic development efforts in the area. Various stages of debris removal work continues in the Gates and the area. Moving from east to west, hazard tree marking and tree removal continues between mileposts 27-29, 51-52, and 57-59.5. While motorists should expect long traffic delays, crews are working longer week days to help alleviate congestion during the weekend for area residents and travelers. We ask all motorists to use alternate routes when possible.

  • Echo Mountain Fire area (Lincoln County, Lincoln City area, Highway 18 and adjacent area): Work on properties recently opting into the Step 2 cleanup process and the few remaining home sites in the area continues with a May completion target still on schedule. Work at the Salmon River Mobile Village is mostly complete while awaiting final soil testing results. United States Senator Ron Wyden’s Office co-hosted a town hall last week with DMTF staff and other community partners.

  • Holiday Farm Fire area (Lane County, McKenzie River area, Highway 126): Work continues to move swiftly and debris cleanup crews continue significant progress on area home sites. Hazard tree marking and removal activity continues between mileposts 30-36, 40-43 and 45-47, and at Ben and Kay Dorris State Park and local Lane County parks. Drone work to assess hazard trees on steep slopes will begin next month. Community members and travelers will continue to see noticeable differences in the landscape. Travelers can expect long traffic delays and are encouraged to use alternate routes.

  • Riverside Fire area (Estacada area, Clackamas County, Highways 224 and 211): Removing debris from the 32 home sites in the area is now underway. All assessments and markings of safely accessible hazard trees are complete. Cutting and removal work continues as crews cut trees at mileposts 41 and 47. Portland General Electric (PGE) and other utility companies continue work adjacent to power lines. Due to falling rocks, trees launching from steep slopes and other safety hazards, Highway 224 remains closed.


Southern Operations


  • Almeda Drive Fire area (Medford/Talent/Phoenix, Jackson County, Highway 99 and Interstate-5): To date, nearly 150,000 tons of ash and debris have been removed from the Almeda Fire area -or roughly the equivalent weight of 12,500 school buses. 20 crews continue to remove debris from area mobile home parks and home sites. With crews transitioning from mobile home parks to single-family home sites, the overall pace will continue to slow slightly. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to look for opportunities for additional direct housing site options. Hazard tree marking and removal continues on mobile home parks and along the Bear Creek Greenway near debris removal sites.

  • Archie Creek Fire area (Douglas County, Highway 138): Debris removal work continues in the Rock Creek area and surrounding community. Hazard tree crews continue work at Baker Wayside Park and milepost 27. Crews and DMTF leadership continue to plan for additional operations while accounting for the protection of culturally significant sites in the corridor.

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

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

  • 242 Fire area (Klamath County, Highways 62 and 97): Hazard tree marking is complete at Collier State Park with hazard tree removal work to begin in the near future.



Topics of the Week


  • The House Special Committee on Wildfire Recovery heard a public hearing on SB 405 this week so no DMTF presentation was scheduled. The Monday, April 26 update has also been rescheduled tentatively for Friday, April 30.

  • On Earth Day 2021, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the DMTF celebrated the environmental values that make Oregon the special place that we all call home. Learn about our Environmental Protection Plan and how we’re protecting natural and cultural resources as a key guiding principle of our work to keep Oregon communities and families safe.

  • With steep slopes and unsafe, inaccessible terrain posing challenges, DMTF crews are putting technology and aerial solutions in place in order to reach dead or dying fire-damaged trees in hard-to-reach areas. Planning is underway to use helicopters and drone technology to continue our swift pace for Oregon’s continued recovery.

  • Fire-impacted corridors continue to be extremely busy with wildfire recovery activity. We ask that all motorists help us help Oregon by using alternate routes, especially during holidays and peak travel times. Highway 224 remains closed, with discussions underway about reopening later this year. Motorists and community members should expect long delays. We thank you for your patience and cooperation as crews perform this critical work for Oregon. We strongly recommend checking TripCheck for the latest traffic delay updates and using alternate routes to avoid these areas.

Air Quality Monitoring Report | 4/12 - 4/18


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: 11

  • Number of air samples collected: 35

  • 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: 10

  • 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: 5

  • Number of air samples collected: 15

  • 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.