Weekly Update - July 30, 2021


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General Operation Updates


As conditions become dryer and hotter throughout the state, Industrial Fire Precaution Levels (IFPL) continue to rise, potentially impacting operations in affected areas. IFPLs are stages that apply to work activities on United States Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management lands to reduce the risk of a wildfire starting from the operation. There are four fire precaution levels that begin with Level I at the start of the “closed season” and can go as high as Level IV if conditions warrant. Although the state and our contractors have secured waivers to continue operations with added safety precautions through IFPL II and III, reaching Level IV enacts a general shutdown where all operations are prohibited.

As a result of the area reaching IFPL IV, all operations in the 242 Fire Area in Klamath County have been suspended as of July 29 until conditions improve.

The presence of many wildfires on the landscape often creates a large volume of information from many different sources. It can be difficult to track the various roles, responsibilities and who owns or manages which areas. For a general snapshot of statewide wildfire activity, news and contact information, Inciweb is a great place to start. The Oregon Department of Forestry fire blog also provides a helpful perspective on news and the latest updates. The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has also created a webpage of other fire-related resources packaged in one central pace.


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 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 47% complete; hazard tree removal 43% complete

  • Hazard tree cutting and removal work continues.

Echo Mountain Fire area Lincoln County, Lincoln City area, Highway 18 and adjacent area Debris removal 87% 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 79% complete; hazard tree removal 77% complete

  • Hazard tree assessment and removal work continues on private properties where crews are removing debris. Tree assessments and removal work are also underway in the Good Pasture Road area.


Riverside Fire area Estacada area, Clackamas County, Highways 224 and 211 Debris removal 66% complete; hazard tree removal 19% complete

  • Due to falling rocks, trees launching from steep slopes and other safety hazards, Highway 224 remains closed. Crews continue to work quickly in efforts to reopen the highway.



Southern Operations


Almeda Drive Fire area Medford/Talent/Phoenix, Jackson County, Highway 99 and Interstate 5 Debris removal 98% 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 90% complete; hazard tree removal 34% complete

South Obenchain Fire area Jackson County, northeast of Eagle Point, Highways 62 and 140 Debris removal 100% complete; hazard tree removal on private property 80% complete

  • Debris removal on enrolled homesites is 100% complete and crews are working to quickly remove remaining hazard trees to wrap up the operation.


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

  • Highway 138 is now open following fire activity closures. Fire activity had only temporary impacts on Thielsen Fire area operations and crews are now working to complete the remaining trees with about one week of work remaining barring further delays.

242 Fire area Klamath County, Highways 62 and 97 Debris removal 25% complete for the 12 total home sites; hazard tree removal 15% complete

  • Significant progress has been made in the area including within Collier State Park, however, an increase to IFPL IV has led to a pause in all work as of July 29 until conditions improve.


Topics of the Week


  • Some hazard trees that have been left for monitoring are not finding success in surviving the post-wildfire landscape, drought and hot summertime conditions. As such, crews are re-evaluating and marking these fire-damaged trees that have not survived.

  • A buried time capsule was located and retrieved at the former site of the Vida Community Center in Lane County which was lost in the Holiday Farm Fire. Expect local media coverage as Debris Management Task Force (Task Force) crews worked to unearth the capsule in partnership with the community.

  • The Task Force E-Newsletter for July went out to subscribed stakeholders this week, highlighting various operational updates, sustainable practices and collaborative milestones for the operation.

Air Quality Monitoring Report | 7/19 - 7/25


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: 4

  • Number of air samples collected: 12

  • 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: 9

  • Number of air samples collected: 25

  • 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: 3

  • Number of air samples collected: 10

  • 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.