Weekly Update - July 16, 2021


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General Operation Updates


The State of Oregon and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) have expectations that the work associated with hazard tree cutting and removal and private property debris cleanup will be completed by later this year. When comparing Beachie Creek and Riverside prime contractor Engineering and Construction Contracts (ECCs) performance to others, we determined that they would not be able to complete the work in a reasonable timeframe. Thus, we found it in the best interest of the public to terminate all contracts with ECC for convenience on June 28, 2021.

Starting this week, after a brief pause for heat and the Fourth of July holiday, prime contractors Suulutaaq, Inc. (for hazard tree removal) and K & E Excavating (for property debris removal) have been assigned and started work in both the Beachie Creek and Riverside Fire areas.

Together, we can all prevent human-caused wildfires. ODOT/Debris Management Task Force (Task Force) crews continue to practice fire-wise operations and have implemented measures to reduce fire risk while delivering wildfire recovery activities for Oregon. Read more about these measures on the Task Force blog.

With the arrival of another wildfire season in Oregon, we know that the somber memories and trauma from 2020 remain. As we continue to make progress removing community safety threats, reopening highways and clearing debris from last year’s wildfires, we are here for Oregon and to help wildfire survivors. Our hotline is available at 503-934-1700 and remains staffed for all hazard tree and debris-related questions. You can track the latest Oregon wildfire-related information at Inciweb for news and contact information (scroll on the map or webpage) or at the Oregon Department of Forestry Fire blog.


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 up to 18 months to complete all properties. In total, this work will require marking and cutting more than 150,000 hazard trees and removing ash and debris from nearly1,400 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 46% complete; hazard tree removal 38% complete

  • Hazard tree cutting and removal work continues at mileposts 39 and 51.

Echo Mountain Fire area Lincoln County, Lincoln City area, Highway 18 and adjacent area Debris removal 86% complete; hazard tree removal 61% complete

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

  • With more properties having opted in since the deadline, work is nearly complete while a few areas await household hazardous waste and property hazard tree removal.

Holiday Farm Fire area Lane County, McKenzie River area, Highway 126 Debris removal 59% complete; hazard tree removal 73% complete

  • Hazard tree assessment and removal work is underway at mileposts 26, 30-31, and 33, and on private properties where crews are removing debris.

Riverside Fire area Estacada area, Clackamas County, Highways 224 and 211 Debris removal 77% complete; hazard tree removal 18% complete

  • Debris removal is expected to be complete in the coming weeks. Due to falling rocks, hazard trees on 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 Debris removal 83% complete; hazard tree removal 62% complete (remaining hazard trees primarily on private properties participating in the program)

Archie Creek Fire area Douglas County, Highway 138 Debris removal 87% complete; hazard tree removal 33% complete

South Obenchain Fire area Jackson County, northeast of Eagle Point, Highways 62 and 140 Debris removal 94% complete of the 17 total home sites; hazard tree removal on private property 25% complete

  • Debris removal work is underway in the Butte Falls Highway area and crews expect to quickly wrap up work in the area.


Thielsen Fire area Eastern Douglas County, Highway 138 Debris removal N/A; hazard tree removal 84% complete

  • Hazard tree work in the Thielsen Fire area is expected to wrap up quickly following a temporary work suspension in response to the Jack Fire.

242 Fire area Klamath County, Highways 62 and 97 Debris removal 17% complete for the 12 total home sites; hazard tree removal 14% complete

  • Local parks have been reopened through state hazard tree removal efforts. Both debris removal and hazard tree work are underway and will move quickly in the 242 Fire area.


Topics of the Week


Air Quality Monitoring Report | 7/5 - 7/11


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:


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

Obenchain Fire

  • Number of properties that had air sampling: 1

  • Number of air samples collected: 6

  • Results above action level: 0

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

242 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.