Wildfire Recovery Update - April 8, 2022
We're all in this together. Please help share this information with your networks and communities. This is the final update to be sent as part of the Debris Management Task Force operation.
General Operation Updates
The unprecedented wildfire cleanup mission provided hundreds of local jobs and surpassed national workforce diversity averages, according to findings from the Debris Management Task Force’s final workforce report. Read more about what this accomplishment for Oregon means.
Because everyone’s situation is different, as close-out work continues and next stages in recovery progress, we encourage impacted property owners participating in the state cleanup program to be informed about their individual insurance situation. We worked to simplify it through a short blog post. Please read the summary here and help share with your neighbors and colleagues.
For all intents and purposes, we are honored to report that the majority of all Task Force-led wildfire debris and hazard tree removal work is complete. While crews complete remaining close-out tasks and coordinate with federal partners to recoup cleanup costs, some hazard tree work and other activities will continue through the spring. We are incredibly grateful for what close coordination, collaboration and local partnership has made possible.
By the Numbers
Fire areas are considered complete while acknowledging final and pending close-out tasks continue. The Task Force continues to send completion letters to property owners and are captured as stars on the interactive map. Continue to track our progress data page for the latest updates and information.
Below is a summary of the work that has been completed:
Beachie Creek/Lionshead Fire areas (Santiam River corridor, primarily in Marion and Linn counties, Highway 22 and adjacent area): Ash and debris removal is complete; hazard tree removal is 98% complete.
State-led hazard tree work along Highway 22 is complete with some chip work remaining. With Marion county partners, hazard tree work on county roads is more than halfway complete and will continue in the coming weeks on Pioneer Road and North Fork Road. Work is complete on Taylor Park Road and at Bear Creek and Niagara parks.
Echo Mountain Fire area (Lincoln County, Lincoln City area, Highway 18 and adjacent area):
Ash and debris removal is complete; hazard tree removal on private property is now complete.
Holiday Farm Fire area (Lane County, McKenzie River area, Highway 126): Ash and debris removal is complete; hazard tree removal is 93% complete.
State-led hazard tree work along Highway 126 is nearly complete. Hazard tree removal work on county-maintained roads is also nearly complete, with work finishing on Goodpasture Road, Gate Creek Road, Blue River Drive, and Eagle Rock Park.
Riverside Fire area (Estacada area, Clackamas County, Highways 224 and 211): Ash and debris removal work is complete.
State-led hazard tree work is complete, pending log deck cleanup and tree hauling. ODOT Region 1 manages the Highway 224 closure area now. In partnership with Clackamas County, hazard tree removal on county-maintained roads is complete.
Almeda Drive Fire area (Medford/Talent/Phoenix, Jackson County, Highway 99 and Interstate-5): Ash and debris removal work complete; hazard tree removal complete.
Jackson County hazard tree assessments and cutting are complete. Read and watch local coverage announcing ash and debris removal completion.
Archie Creek Fire area (Douglas County, Highway 138): Ash and debris removal complete; hazard tree removal 95% complete.
Hazard tree cutting on county-maintained roads continues with work expected to be complete soon.
South Obenchain Fire area (Jackson County, northeast of Eagle Point, Highways 62 and 140): Ash and debris removal complete; hazard tree removal complete.
Thielsen Fire area (eastern Douglas County, Highway 138): Ash and debris removal N/A; hazard tree removal complete.
242 Fire area (Klamath County, Highways 62 and 97):
Ash and debris removal complete; hazard tree removal complete.
Topics of the Week
The House Special Committee on Wildfire Recovery heard from leaders of wildfire impacted communities on February 7 and wildfire survivors on February 15. KATU provided a recap of the public hearing. The committee also heard an update from Task Force/ODOT leadership on February 14.
ODOT Region 1 maintenance crews—with the USFS—continue work to re-open Highway 224 by May 1. ODOT has created a website for updates and other important information and reports that the May 1 timeline remains on schedule. ODOT and the USFS hosted an informational meeting on March 10.
Throughout the state, local communities continue restoration, replanting and rebuilding projects. Read this story from Phoenix about restoring their local park.
OPB released before and after aerial videos showing the impacts of the Beachie Creek and Lionshead fires from above. Think Out Loud also hosted a discussion on “What it’s like to survive a wildfire” earlier in February.
Air Quality Monitoring Report
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 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. As ash and debris removal nears completion and winter weather reduces air quality monitoring, there are no results to report this month.
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.oregon.gov.
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.