Wildfire Recovery Update - March 11, 2022
We're all in this together. Please help share this information with your networks and communities. A final update will be published April 2022.
General Operation Updates
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, wrap up hazard tree operations, and coordinate with federal partners to recoup cleanup costs, some hazard tree work and other activities will continue through the spring and into summer.
We are incredibly grateful for what close coordination, collaboration and local partnership has made possible throughout this unprecedented operation. Completing this milestone helps Oregon turn a page on this traumatic, yet critical, first step in the wildfire recovery process while enabling next steps in the arduous, multi-year journey still ahead.
As we rebuild and recover together, we thank Oregonians for their resilient spirit and endurance. We encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect on what’s been accomplished and to support one another on what is still ahead.
Because everyone’s situation is different, we encourage communities and wildfire survivors to be informed about the cleanup cost and insurance process. We worked to simplify it through a short blog post. Please read the summary here and help share with your neighbors and colleagues.
By the Numbers
All fire areas are considered complete while acknowledging final and pending close-out tasks for some properties, and that hazard tree work continues with county partners through the spring. Completion letters continue to be sent 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, work is paused in the Breitenbush area due to snow and will resume shortly; hazard tree removal is 91% complete.
Hazard tree work along OR-22 is wrapping up with all trees now cut. With Marion County partners, hazard tree work on county roads and parks will continue into the spring and is underway at Minto Park, North Fork Road, and Taylor Park. Crews will move to Niagara Park shortly. Task Force leadership continue to work with the City of Detroit on road maintenance questions.
Echo Mountain Fire area (Lincoln County, Lincoln City area, Highway 18 and adjacent area):
Pending final safety inspections and hazard tree work on a single property, Task Force operations in the Echo Mountain Fire area are complete; hazard tree removal on private property is 98% complete.
Holiday Farm Fire area (Lane County, McKenzie River area, Highway 126): Ash and debris removal is complete while final close-out activities wrap up; hazard tree removal is 90% complete.
Hazard tree work is nearly complete and wrapping up near the Vida area soon. Hazard tree removal work on county-maintained roads is also nearly complete, with work finishing on Goodpasture Road.
Riverside Fire area (Estacada area, Clackamas County, Highways 224 and 211): Ash and debris removal work is complete; hazard tree removal is 96% complete.
Tree hauling operations are underway. With Task Force operations mostly complete, on-going closure coordination of OR-224 is managed by ODOT Region 1. In partnership with Clackamas County, marking and cutting hazard trees along county-maintained roads and easements will continue into the spring. Family Camp Road south of Molalla is now complete and crews are moving to the Estacada area next week.
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.