Weekly Update - August 13, 2021


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General Operation Updates


As part of an evolving and adaptive emergency response operation, data is constantly being captured and updated to accurately reflect the realities of the field. This week, Debris Management Task Force (Task Force) staff updated the operation progress page to reflect these updates and applied new design elements to help make data more accessible and clearer to understand. This includes an update to the total number of estimated hazard trees on the landscape and a streamlined look for the data dashboard. Read about the updates on our blog.

When a brush fire broke out near Idanha, Task Force hazard tree removal crews quickly put their training and expertise to work to help extinguish the blaze. Working with the local fire department, crews created a fire line to stop the blaze from reaching the town.

Ensuring Oregon communities and businesses have meaningful and equitable opportunities to participate in wildfire recovery work are key values that drive the debris and hazard tree removal operation. In this spirit, we require prime contractors to show how they’re committed to an equitable workforce, how they will support local community needs and workforces, and how they will contribute to small business growth through diversity plans and regular status reports. These reports demonstrate to the Task Force how they are meeting their individual diversity and other goals. Currently, more than half of the overall contracted workforce are minority, woman or small business-owned contractors and 95% are Oregon-based businesses.


By the Numbers


Step 2 began in December 2020 and will progress through multiple impacted areas simultaneously. We estimate it will take up to 18 months to complete all properties. In total, this work will require marking and cutting more than 100,000 hazard trees and removing ash and debris from more than 3,000 participating lots, including individual home and commercial property sites.


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 50% complete; hazard tree removal 50% complete

  • Hazard tree cutting and removal work is underway at mileposts 37, 39, and 55, and on private properties in the area. With contractor transitions, work continues to ramp up in the area.

Echo Mountain Fire area Lincoln County, Lincoln City area, Highway 18 and adjacent area Debris removal 90% complete; hazard tree removal 61% complete

(remainder of trees are primarily on property sites participating in the state program)

  • Work is complete for all initial properties in the program, while properties opting in since the deadline await household hazardous materials removal.

Holiday Farm Fire area Lane County, McKenzie River area, Highway 126 Debris removal 80% complete; hazard tree removal 75% complete

  • Hazard tree assessment and removal work is underway in the Blue River area and on private properties, where crews are removing debris. Hazard tree removal on Highway 126 is nearly complete.


Riverside Fire area Estacada area, Clackamas County, Highways 224 and 211 Debris removal nearly complete, awaiting final close-out steps; hazard tree removal 75% complete

  • Hazard tree tagging work is underway at mileposts 41-42, and tree cutting is underway at mileposts 31, 35 and 42. Due to falling rocks, trees launching from steep slopes, and other safety hazards, Highway 224 remains closed, but crews continue to work quickly in efforts to reopen the highway. Governor Kate Brown toured the area and learned more about the safety risks in the corridor on Monday, August 9.


Governor Brown (right) touring 224 corridor in Riverside Fire area

Southern Operations


Almeda Drive Fire area Medford/Talent/Phoenix, Jackson County, Highway 99 and Interstate 5 Debris removal 99% complete; hazard tree removal 58% complete (remaining hazard trees primarily on private properties participating in the program)

  • Debris removal work continues to be on track for completion this month. Debris removal assessment work is underway at Willow Springs Road and South Pacific Highway.

Archie Creek Fire area Douglas County, Highway 138 Debris removal nearly complete; hazard tree removal 36% complete

  • Hazard tree work has been temporarily paused due to high fire conditions. Debris removal is complete on all current participating properties. Hazardous materials removal work is being planned for and underway on properties recently opting into the state program.

South Obenchain Fire area Jackson County, northeast of Eagle Point, Highways 62 and 140 Debris removal nearly complete, awaiting final close-out steps; hazard tree removal on private property 80% complete



Thielsen Fire area Eastern Douglas County, Highway 138 Debris removal N/A; hazard tree removal will be complete by the end of next week

242 Fire area Klamath County, Highways 62 and 97 Debris removal 30% complete; hazard tree removal 42% complete

  • Work will resume next week after a temporary pause due to fire conditions.

Houses have begun to arrive in the Rogue Valley in mobile home parks cleared as part of the state-managed cleanup

Topics of the Week


  • Governor Kate Brown toured the Highway 224 corridor on Monday with Oregon Representative Christine Drazen and staff. The tour provided an opportunity to share both the great work underway for Oregon as well as the ongoing safety risks and challenges that crews continue to navigate as they work to reopen Highway 224 as quickly as possible. Governor Brown also toured the Holiday Farm Fire area with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) partners in the McKenzie Valley the previous week.

  • The U.S. Forest Service, Mt. Hood National Forest district has begun increased hazard tree removal work along forest service roads and recreation areas in the district. You can learn more about the White River Fire Roadside project and the Clackamas Fires Roadside Danger Tree Abatement project. This work is not part of the state debris or hazard tree removal program.

  • Archie Creek Fire area hazard tree operations have been temporarily paused due to IFPL 4 (high fire) conditions. Work recently paused due to IFPL 4 conditions has been cleared to resume in portions of the 242 fire area. We continue to expect the possibility of brief operational pauses due to fire conditions changing rapidly and we await improved conditions when that happens. This also includes working with our partners at the Oregon Department of Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management on waivers to continue operations with increased safety measures.

  • The Dixie Fire northeast of Chico, CA continues to grow and is currently more than 500,000 acres, surpassing numerous records, and is only 30% contained. The fire has destroyed hundreds of structures and left the town of Greenville, CA in its wake. Our thoughts and sympathies are with these communities and the crews working to battle the blaze.

  • FEMA reimbursement announcements garnered local media coverage. Read a local take from the Woodburn Independent and a Marion County officials’ take on debris removal work underway.

Air Quality Monitoring Report | 8/2 - 8/8


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: 2

  • Number of air samples collected: 9

  • 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: 19

  • 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 Task Force 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.