Weekly Update - August 20, 2021
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General Operation Updates
As the debris and hazard tree removal operations move toward completion, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Debris Management Task Force (Task Force) staff are working with local counties and communities to implement final deadlines for opting-in to the state cleanup program. Anyone who wishes to opt-in to the state-run cleanup program or has questions about their individual situation should contact our hotline at 503-934-1700 and track our interactive status page.
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.
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, 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 85% complete; hazard tree removal 61% complete
(remainder of trees are primarily on property sites participating in the state program)
With more properties opting in since the cleanup deadline, initial work is complete while remaining properties await household hazardous materials removal.
Holiday Farm Fire area Lane County, McKenzie River area, Highway 126 Debris removal 80% complete; hazard tree removal 70% complete
Hazard tree assessment and removal work is underway on private properties where crews are removing debris, and in the Blue River Road area.
Riverside Fire area Estacada area, Clackamas County, Highways 224 and 211 Debris removal nearly complete, awaiting final close-out steps; hazard tree removal 64% complete
Hazard tree cutting work is underway at mileposts 37, 39 and 55. 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 this fall.
Almeda Drive Fire area Medford/Talent/Phoenix, Jackson County, Highway 99 and Interstate 5 Debris removal 99% complete; hazard tree removal 59% complete (remaining hazard trees primarily on private properties participating in the program)
Debris removal work continues to be on track for completion this month.
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 and hazardous materials removal work is being planned for and underway on properties recently opting into the state cleanup 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 is expected to be complete by the end of this week
242 Fire area Klamath County, Highways 62 and 97 Debris removal 29% complete for five properties; hazard tree removal 42% complete
Work will resume this week after a temporary pause due to fire conditions. Hazard tree removal work is underway at Collier State Park.
Topics of the Week
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley toured the Echo Mountain Fire area near Lincoln City this week. The tour included conversations about Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursement and potential solutions looking forward.
Task Force staff continue productive work with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office on their annual audit of this emergency response operation. ODOT and Task Force leadership appreciate the in-depth questions and discussions underway and look forward to implementing any potential recommendations provided in the spirit of the adaptive and evolving nature of this work.
Learn more about the excellent work happening through a partnership between the city of Talent and the organization No One Left Offline as they provide internet access for wildfire survivors.
As communities rebuild and replant, trail restoration events continue to be held throughout Oregon in fire-impacted areas. If you’re able, consider participating in this Santiam State Forest restoration event.
The U.S. Forest Service continues increased hazard tree removal work along forest service roads and recreation areas near the Riverside Fire area and in the Beachie Creek/Lionshead and Holiday Farm Fire areas. 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.
Community resources are available throughout Oregon for wildfire survivors and wildfire-impacted communities. Two resources include grants for small businesses in southern Oregon and $4.4 million to help support housing, health, mental health, community center rebuilding and river restoration work.
With the Bootleg Fire in Oregon now contained, northern California wildfires continue to threaten and devastate entire towns and communities. The Caldor Fire east of Sacramento grew to nearly 70,000 acres in two days and has destroyed the community of Grizzly Flats.
Air Quality Monitoring Report | 8/9 - 8/15
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:
Beachie Creek 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.