☑ Weekly Update - March 26, 2021


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General Operation Updates


Significant progress continues throughout Oregon as we approach warmer, drier months.


As of Friday, March 26, 889 home sites (of 2,868 total) have been cleared, more than 57,000 hazard trees have been evaluated and marked, and crews have removed more than 18,000 hazard trees posing threats to communities and crews. As always, you can find the latest status updates at the Debris Management Task Force interactive status map and dashboard page.


As crews complete work in one area, we want to ensure that every property owner impacted by the 2020 wildfires can participate in the state cleanup program before crews transition to other sites.


Submitting a Right-of-Entry (ROE) agreement before crews arrive to an area helps us to keep a swift pace and move quickly to future sites once work is complete. You can still sign up for cleanup by completing a ROE form, which allows Step 2 cleanup crews onto your property.


We’re asking property owners with ROEs to double-check that their private property questionnaire aligns with local building codes and other rebuilding requirements. If you’re choosing to remove debris independently, be aware of what’s required before rebuilding.


Sometimes the debris removal requests we receive are not aligned with local rebuilding requirements. Local county and/or city codes may have very specific requirements for the condition of home foundations before you can rebuild. Contact your county or city code enforcement agency to determine their cleanup requirements for new construction permits. If you’ve chosen to remove debris yourself, please be aware of what’s required before starting to ensure your safety and health.

By the Numbers


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 290,000 hazard trees and removing ash and debris from more than 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): Crews continue debris removal work in Detroit. Early phases of debris removal continues in the Gates area and nearby, including environmental testing and chimney-tipping activities. Moving from east to west, hazard tree marking and tree removal on impacted properties continues at milepost 39.7 and mileposts 56-60. The Highway 22 corridor landscape looks quite different now that hazard tree work is progressing, so be prepared if you’re traveling through the area.

  • Echo Mountain Fire area (Lincoln County, Lincoln City area, Highway 18 and adjacent area): Crews continue to work quickly in the area, with dozens of sites complete and four sites recently completed in one day and work about to begin on a local mobile home park site. Hazard tree removal work continues near debris removal operations. To allow our crews to maintain an accelerated pace, property owners who have not yet opted into the debris removal program are strongly encouraged to do so: submit a ROE agreement to allow crews on your property.

  • Holiday Farm Fire area (Lane County, McKenzie River area, Highway 126): We’ve doubled the number of crews in the area as ash and debris cleanup continues. Hydro-seeding and hazard tree removal continues, too, with busy hazard tree activity underway between mileposts 30-38 and 40-43. Hazard tree work continues at Ben and Kay Dorris Park, where visitors will continue to see distinct differences in the landscape. Travelers should expect increased travel times. Please also be careful when driving through the area; it helps keep our crews safe. We appreciate your cooperation!

  • Riverside Fire area (Estacada area, Clackamas County, Highways 224 and 211): Crews continue to move forward carefully in light of heavy winds and falling rocks in the area. Crews are now using drones to mark trees on extremely steep slopes, which is much safer and more efficient than having a person scale the treacherous terrain. Hazard tree marking and removal continues between mileposts 37-38 and 41-47. Environmental assessments are underway for the early stages of debris removal activity. Highway 224 east and southeast of Estacada, along the Clackamas River, remains closed.



Southern Operations


As of this week, nearly 184 million pounds of ash and debris have been hauled in southern Oregon. This equals the weight of more than 7,300 school buses.


  • Almeda Drive Fire area (Medford/Talent/Phoenix, Jackson County, Highway 99 and Interstate 5 (I-5): Crews continue to remove debris from eight area mobile home parks as they transition to complete all mobile home parks in the area enrolled in the statewide cleanup. Upon completion of mobile home parks, contractors will move to complete multi-family and single family residences and businesses as identified by the Regional Debris Task Force led by Jackson County and the cities in the region. The Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to begin work at Talent Mobile Estates for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) short-term housing.

  • Archie Creek Fire area (Douglas County, Highway 138): Plans are underway to increase crew numbers and debris removal work in the area. Debris removal work continues in the Rock Creek area, including continued work at the local fish hatchery. Hazard tree cutting, removal and marking continues at milepost 33 moving east, and at mileposts 25 and 29. Steep and difficult terrain, and potential requirements for “matting” under equipment, create time constraints. Travelers should expect traffic delays. A community town hall was held for community members impacted by the fire on March 25 at Glide Baptist Church, hosted by community partner organization Glide Revitalization. The meeting included representatives of Douglas County Public Works, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, Umpqua Neighborworks and the Debris Management Task Force. The Task Force gave a presentation on cleanup progress underway and attendees were offered the opportunity to ask questions about upcoming developments.

  • South Obenchain Fire area (Jackson County, northeast of Eagle Point, Highways 62 and 140): ROE agreements are processed for 16 properties. As operations in the Almeda Fire area near completion, resources will shift to this area.

  • 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 mostly complete, with some work underway at Highway 97 near milepost 244 and continuing work at Collier State Park. Staff continue working with tribal and county leaders to align operations to protect cultural resources in the area.



Topics of the Week


The Oregon House Special Committee on Wildfire Recovery heard a weekly status update on Monday, March 22. The weekly update was followed by a wildfire recovery funding presentation from Wildfire Recovery Director Matt Garrett.

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has shared its plans for hazard tree removal on USFS land and roadsides. This work will occur nearby, or in the same corridors, as Debris Management Task Force (DMTF) hazard tree removal work and will likely overlap in some areas as DMTF crews coordinate closely with USFS staff.

Choosing to tackle debris cleanup on your own carries risk if all cleanup steps are not followed. Wildfire debris removal is a complex sequence of steps that must be followed to meet local, state and federal regulations. We want to ensure that property owners who choose not to participate in the state cleanup program have the information that they need to make informed decisions about their recovery plans.

Working closely with county officials, arborists have identified stands of dead or dying hazard trees along the popular Bear Creek Greenway in Jackson County. Crews will begin removing these dead or dying hazard trees soon to remove serious threats to trail users, existing facilities, and future mobile home park and subdivision rebuilding activities. DMTF staff and crews in southern Oregon will work with local partners to provide notice before work starts. Restoration discussions with recreation groups will help write the next chapter for this valuable community amenity. A multiuse path running directly through this area is currently open.

Oregon Representative Pam Marsh will host a pro bono wildfire insurance legal clinic on Wednesday, March 31 to help wildfire survivors navigate the post-fire legal and insurance landscape. More information can be found here.

As the DMTF removes thousands of trees posing safety threats to communities and property owners, other federal and state agencies are working on reforestation and replanting efforts. While an unprecedented demand for forest tree seedlings has presented challenges, work is underway to reseed, replant and restore impacted areas as part of the long path towards recovery.

Free private well testing is available for Oregonians with damaged or destroyed properties resulting from the 2020 wildfires. The DMTF is working with our partners at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Drinking Water Supply Task Force to help share these helpful resources with those who might need it most.

Air Quality Monitoring Report | 3/15-3/21


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: 10

  • Number of air samples collected: 44

  • 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: 3

  • Number of air samples collected: 9

  • 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


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


***


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.

Free 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.

About the Debris Management Task Force
and debris cleanup process

Wildfire cleanup is a two-step process

The State of Oregon is working with federal, state and local partners to safely and efficiently remove hazard trees and debris resulting from the wildfires that devastated Oregon in late summer 2020. The Oregon Departments of Transportation, Environmental Quality and Emergency Management are jointly leading this effort as the Debris Management Task Force.

For general questions, contact the debris cleanup hotline at 503-934-1700 or email: odot.wildfire@odot.state.or.us.

For questions about contracting opportunities, contact Feather Sams Huesties at feather.sams-huesties@odot.state.or.us.


wildfire.oregon.gov

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