☑ Weekly Update - April 9, 2021


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General Operation Updates


We’re all one team and one Oregon during this challenging time. Together we’ll recover and rebuild. The devastation left in the wake of the 2020 wildfires is a somber moment in Oregon history—one that everyone is looking to move past and forward from. As we navigate the challenges left from these fires, as landscapes dramatically change, as debris is cleared to make way for rebuilding communities—sometimes at a pace that may never feel fast enough—progress is underway, and we’re here for you and all of Oregon.


While we help make rebuilding possible, we urge everyone with homes destroyed by the 2020 wildfires to submit a Right-of-Entry (ROE) agreement to participate in the state cleanup program. Property owners can access an online form and submit an online questionnaire at wildfire.oregon.gov/cleanup or by working with our hotline staff at 503-934-1700.


For those already with an active ROE, please call us if your plans change or you choose to clean up on your own. It costs time and slows down work when crews arrive at a home site with an ROE, only to find it already cleared of debris. To help your neighbors and fellow Oregonians, we appreciate a quick call or update should your ROE plans change. Property owners can call our hotline at 503-934-1700 or email odot.wildfire@odot.state.or.us.


Check out the series of steps that it takes to complete property cleanup. The debris removal process is well underway before heavy machinery and dump trucks show up. These initial steps include environmental testing, site assessments, chimney tipping and other activities.

Statewide partnerships: The herculean task of keeping Oregon safe and removing more than 100,000 hazard trees threatening Oregon highways and communities continues statewide. Many across Oregon have joined us. Local and county governments are clearing local roads. Utility crews are ensuring electrical access for communities by keeping powerlines clear. The U.S. Forest Service is planning for roadside tree removal operations statewide. We’re working to ensure that everyone traveling a major state highway can do so without fearing for their life. All removed hazard trees have been evaluated thoroughly by numerous arborists and foresters to determine its risk before being removed by separate contractors. Removing these safety threats provides a path for Oregon’s next chapter to begin.




By the Numbers


Step 2 cleanup started in December 2020 and 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 295,000 hazard trees and removing ash and debris from nearly 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): Debris removal crews will be added in the coming week as work continues in Detroit with more than 20 properties now complete. Debris cleanup will begin shortly on Kane’s Marina to support local needs, including tourism and economic development in the area. Debris removal work continues in the Gates area. Moving from east to west, hazard tree marking and tree removal continues between mileposts 27-28.5 and 54-58. Tree tagging and slash processing is underway at milepost 39.7. Community members will continue to see noticeable differences in the landscape along the Highway 22 corridor. Long traffic delays are to be 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 area and Debris Management Task Force (DMTF) officials anticipate that debris and tree removal work will be complete by May. Crews have started work on 31 sites at the Salmon River Mobile Village and will work through the steps of debris cleanup before completing work by the end of this month. DMTF officials ask that fire-impacted property owners not yet participating in the cleanup process submit a ROE agreement by April 15 before crews mobilize to other portions of the state.

  • Holiday Farm Fire area (Lane County, McKenzie River area, Highway 126): Debris cleanup crews continue swift progress in the area. Busy hazard tree activity continues between mileposts 30-38 and 40-43, as well as at Ben and Kay Dorris State Park and local Lane County parks. Community members and travelers will continue to see major differences in the landscape. Travelers can expect increasingly long traffic delays. Property owners continue to receive proactive calls as debris removal crews begin work on their property.

  • Riverside Fire area (Estacada area, Clackamas County, Highways 224 and 211): Hazard tree marking and removal continues as crews mark trees between mileposts 33-35 and removal work is underway between mileposts 41-42 and 46-48. Environmental assessments for the early stages of debris removal on select properties also continues. Utility companies continue performing work adjacent to power lines in the area. Due to falling rocks, trees launching from steep slopes and other numerous safety hazards, Highway 224 remains closed. However, DMTF leadership is working with the U.S. Forest Service, PG&E, Clackamas County and local recreation groups to discuss opportunities for reopening and what that timeline could look like.



Southern Operations


  • Almeda Drive Fire area (Medford/Talent/Phoenix, Jackson County, Highway 99 and I-5): Crews continue to remove debris from area mobile home parks, with all mobile home parks wrapping up soon thanks to significant progress being made in the area. As crews transition from mobile home parks to single-family home areas, pace will slow slightly. Debris removal on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) direct housing sites is complete. Hazard tree removal work has started along the Bear Creek Greenway.

  • Archie Creek Fire area (Douglas County, Highway 138): Debris removal work continues in the Rock Creek area with more than 15 sites cleared, and work at the local fish hatchery nearing completion. Hazard tree work continues at mileposts 24 and 28. 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): ROE agreements are complete for 16 properties with future work plans underway.

  • 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 complete at Collier State Park. Hazard tree work continues at milepost 23.7 and Baker Wayside area. 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, April 5. These weekly presentations provide short updates on cleanup progress and can be viewed live each Monday at 5:35 p.m. The Joint Committee on Transportation also heard an update Thursday morning.

Senator Ron Wyden, FEMA and Jackson County leadership and the DMTF/Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) toured the Totem Pole Mobile Home Park in Jackson County on Wednesday to reflect on the swift progress being made, learn about a future short-term housing site for wildfire survivors and to see how debris removal work is supporting the rebuilding of local communities. Senator Wyden’s staff will visit Lincoln County and host a local virtual town hall next Thursday, April 15.

DMTF/ODOT staff continue a strong presence at events in the Santiam Canyon. Staff will participate in a Town Hall on the evening of Friday, April 9 and then a North Santiam-focused community meeting the following week.

Water is the source of all life and one of the most important pillars for recovery and rebuilding. State officials are working hard to provide a range of resources. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Drinking Water Task Force are offering free well testing kits for all fire-impacted property owners.

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 next steps look like to safely reopen. 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 checking 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: 9

  • Number of air samples collected: 27

  • 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: 6

  • Number of air samples collected: 18

  • 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: 2

  • Number of air samples collected: 6

  • 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.