Weekly Update - October 8, 2021


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General Operation Updates


The Debris Management Task Force (Task Force) team was honored to be recognized with the 2021 Mary Olson Award at the annual Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Fall Forum. This is the highest honor the Oregon Transportation Commission can give and is focused on individuals and teams that demonstrate the leadership qualities of initiative, innovation and integrity and in turn raise the image of ODOT.

The office of the Oregon Secretary of State completed its review of the program and provided Task Force leadership with a draft of the report for response. Management response was submitted on October 7 and the public release of the Advisory Report is anticipated later this month.

The Task Force recently released a short film to reflect on the first year following the 2020 wildfires. Shot in coordination with local agency partners and community leaders in Southern Oregon, the video highlights the cleanup progress since the fire, while also acknowledging the massive work to be done on the multi-year road to recovery – all while giving credence to how shared pain gives way to hope for what is to come.


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 72% complete; hazard tree removal 69% complete

  • Hazard tree cutting and removal work is underway at mileposts 24, 31, 34, 51 and 57 and on private properties in the area, with a major push for hydro-mulch work occurring in the coming days and weeks to complete cleared properties.

Echo Mountain Fire area Lincoln County, Lincoln City area, Highway 18 and adjacent area Debris removal nearly 90% complete; hazard tree removal 65% complete

(remainder of trees are on final property sites)

  • Ash and debris work is nearly complete with hazard tree crews completing final removal on participating properties with work anticipated to be complete in the coming weeks.

Holiday Farm Fire area Lane County, McKenzie River area, Highway 126 Debris removal 88% complete; hazard tree removal 65% complete (remainder of trees are on final property sites)

  • Ash and debris work is nearly complete with hazard tree crews completing final removal on participating properties with work anticipated to be complete in the coming weeks.


Riverside Fire area Estacada area, Clackamas County, Highways 224 and 211 Debris removal complete awaiting final close-out steps; hazard tree removal 67% complete


Southern Operations


Almeda Drive Fire area Medford/Talent/Phoenix, Jackson County, Highway 99 and Interstate 5

Debris removal complete, pending final closeout activities; hazard tree removal 88% complete

Archie Creek Fire area Douglas County, Highway 138 Debris removal complete, pending final closeout activities; hazard tree removal 51% complete

  • Hazard tree work is underway at mileposts 32 and 34. Debris removal is complete on all current participating properties pending final close-out activities. Hauling and decking operations to the Glide industrial area are ongoing. The Highway 138 corridor will become increasingly busy in the coming weeks as ODOT/Task Force crews ramp up work following eased fire restrictions and as other organizations and jurisdictions complete their work before the winter months.

South Obenchain Fire area Jackson County, northeast of Eagle Point, Highways 62 and 140 Debris removal complete.


Thielsen Fire area Eastern Douglas County, Highway 138 Operation complete; all contractors have demobilized

242 Fire area Klamath County, Highways 62 and 97 Debris removal 30% complete on the total 17 properties; hazard tree removal 56% complete

  • Hazard tree evaluation and removal work is complete at Collier State Park. This week crews mobilized into the area to complete final debris removal on the remaining 12 properties with work zone fire operational restrictions continuing to ease.

Topics of the Week

  • The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) approved $300,000 for Wildfire Recovery Immediate Response Grant offerings this biennium. OWEB is now accepting applications for the immediate response grants for the 2021 fire season including in areas affected by the Elbow Creek, Skyline Ridge, Cougar Peak and Bootleg fires.

  • As hazard tree removal nears completion on Highway 224, additional rock scaling operations, fencing installation and roadway repairs must be completed prior to reopening.

  • Task Force presented at ODOT’s annual Fall Forum on October 7 providing an update on the operation and progress to date.

  • Residents of Otis affected by the Echo Mountain Fire collaborate on beautification efforts using wildfire-resistant plants.

  • The Osprey chicks rescued from the Holiday Farm Fire were released into the wild near Florence, Oregon. The Task Force video team was on-hand for the release and a feature video is forthcoming.

Air Quality Monitoring Report | 9/20 - 10/3


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: 3

  • Number of air samples collected: 7

  • 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.