Oregon Office of Emergency Management
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News Releases
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Oregon wildfire recovery debris removal begins with hazard trees - 01/14/21

SALEM – Crews around the state are beginning to clear roads and private properties of trees damaged in September’s wildfires.

The tree clearing is part of the Oregon Wildfire Recovery Debris Management Task Force’s effort to provide cleanup for homes and businesses in the eight affected counties – Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion. The work paves the way for rebuilding efforts, community recovery and helps revitalize Oregon’s economy.

Before crews begin clearing hazard trees from private property, they will clear remaining logs and debris from roadsides. Drivers in fire-affected areas should keep an eye out for crews and be prepared to stop.

State contractors are marking trees for removal with blue dot and a barcode tracking tag. Many other entities, including utilities and private companies, continue with their own tree removal operations and have their own markings.

On private property, dead or dying trees will be removed if they pose a threat to the safety of cleanup crew or public right of ways. Ash and structural debris removal will soon follow, including concrete and other household and construction materials, from private homes and businesses. A list of what is included in cleanup is available.

Hazard trees and ash and debris cleanup are the focus of Step 2 of the cleanup, and includes homes, mobile home parks, second homes, businesses and other structures. Step 1 involved removal of hazardous household waste and was completed in December.

Home and business owners must sign an All Wildfire Debris Right of Entry Form with their county to allow cleanup crews onto their property. Visit https://wildfire.oregon.gov/ or call 503-934-1700 to submit your form and for more information. Even those who did not join in Step 1 of the cleanup may still opt into the program.

Participating property owners also need to complete a questionnaire about their property, to help with planning and ensure an efficient, safe removal of debris.

The contractors

As the task force’s contract manager, the Oregon Department of Transportation is awarding three types of contracts for Step 2: hazard tree removal, debris and ash removal, and monitoring.

Given the large geographic area and volume of work, ODOT awarded the hazard tree, and ash and debris removal contracts over multiple operational areas and not as a single statewide contract.

A separate company is monitoring the cleanup work, environmental testing, and document completion of Step 2 property by property. The Federal Emergency Management Agency requires an independent company to perform monitoring work. This firm will monitor contractors removing hazard trees, ash, and debris to ensure cleanup and safety protocols and proper accounting. FEMA requires monitoring to control costs, reduce waste, and help eliminate fraud.

ODOT has awarded the following contracts:

Monitoring (1)

CDR Maguire Emergency Management

  • Based in Florida 
  • Contract: $75.5 million
  • Awarded Nov. 19, 2020

Hazard Tree Removal (3)

Ceres Disaster Recovery – Disaster Recovery – Ceres Environmental

  • Based in Florida
  • Contracts awarded Nov. 25, 2020
    Archie Creek Fire, OR 138, $25.78 million
    Thielson Fire, OR 138, $2.07 million
    Two Four Two Fire, U.S. 97, $1.91 million

ECC – https://www.ecc.net/ecc/

  • Based in California
  • Contracts awarded: Nov. 30, 2020
    Beachie Creek / Lionshead Fire, OR 22, $17.18 million
    Riverside Fire, OR 224, $71.63 million

Suulutaaq Inc. – suulutaq.com

  • Based in Alaska, with an operations office in Eugene
  • Contract awarded Nov. 30, 2020
    Holiday Farm Fire, OR 126, $22.94 million

A video describing the OR 126 Holiday Farm Fire hazard tree removal work is available.

Ash and debris removal contracts have been awarded and that work also begins later this month.

Oregon’s 2020 Labor Day fires constitute the largest and most expensive disaster in our state’s history, burning over 1 million acres and destroying over 5,000 structures.

Initial estimates put the debris cleanup from the September 2020 Oregon wildfires at over $600 million, including $326 million for ash and debris removal and $295 million to remove hazard trees.

More information

Wildfire cleanup webpage: https://wildfire.oregon.gov/cleanup 
Wildfire debris cleanup hotline: 503-934-1700 or e@odot.state.or.us">odot.wildfire@odot.state.or.us
Highway travel conditions: TripCheck.com 

Oregon’s Debris Management Task Force, which includes the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Oregon Department of Transportation, and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, is coordinating federal, state, and local government agencies to clean up debris from the 2020 Oregon wildfires.

You can get this document in other languages, large print, braille or a format you prefer. Contact David Cardona, OEM Language Access Coordinator at 971-719-1183 or email dona@state.or.us">david.cardona@state.or.us. We accept all relay calls or you can dial 711.

 

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Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update - Jan. 13, 2021 (Photo) - 01/13/21

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has posted the Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update for Jan.13, 2021, to the Oregon Wildfire Resources page. See today's Wildfire Recovery update here

Photo Captions:

Lane County, Ore. - September 19, 2020 - Wildfire destruction on Mt. Hagen. Photo by Jeremy Porter/FEMA.
File: 2020-19-09_OR_4562_Detroit_Mt_Hagen_DeMob_01.jpg

Blue River, Ore. - September 30, 2020 - The process to remove damaged trees has begun. The Holiday Farm Fire destroyed businesses, homes and vehicles in Blue River, Oregon. Photo by David Yost/FEMA.
File: 2020-30-09_4562_ORFires_BlueRiver_1971.jpg

 

Erosion Threat Assessment/Reduction Team (ETART) Virtual Media Availability - 01/12/21

Virtual Media Availability

(Salem, OR) — The Oregon Office of Emergency Management will hold a press availability on Thursday, January 14, 2020 to discuss the release and findings of the Erosion Threat Assessment/Reduction Team (ETART) by State Recovery Function 7 – Natural and Cultural Resources Recovery Task Force.

ETART is a multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency team, led by FEMA and the state of Oregon, charged with assessment of potential erosion risks and to provide control treatment recommendations. This group of subject matter experts coordinated with federal, state and local fire response teams as an early statewide recovery action.

The press availability will be virtual at 10 a.m. on January 14, 2021. The panel will include ETART specialists from federal agencies including the U.S. Forest Service and FEMA, and state agencies such as the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, and Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.  

Members of the media must RSVP for call-in information by emailing ETART PIO, Jo Niehaus at jo.niehaus@oregon.gov.

Log-in information for the virtual meeting will be provided to all reporters who RSVP to participate remotely. Please RSVP by noon on January 13, 2021 so we can ensure you receive the call-in information before the press conference begins.

For more information about wildfire recovery, please reach out to the Wildfire Recovery Information Center at e.info@state.or.us">fire.info@state.or.us. For specific questions about the ETART reports, please email esetart@fema.dhs.gov">2020wildfiresetart@fema.dhs.gov.

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Weather conditions call for awareness, preparedness - 01/11/21

Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management urges residents to be prepared for flooding, landslides and power outages

Salem, OR – January 11, 2021 – With heavy winter rains and high winds forecasted across the state over the next few days, Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management encourages residents to be aware – and prepared – for flooding, landslides and power outages.

Basic preparedness actions can help prevent dangerous situations. This begins with having an emergency kit with necessary supplies for up to two weeks, a practiced family plan with steps for what to do in an emergency, and knowing the difference between a flood watch and a flood warning.

Flooding
Intense rainfall over a short period of time can cause rivers and streams to rise rapidly, often catching people living near these water sources off guard. Flash floods move with incredible speed and occur when heavy rain falls on already-saturated ground. In addition, loss of vegetation due to wildfires leaves the ground charred and unable to absorb water. Even areas that are not traditionally flood-prone are at risk of flooding for up to several years after a wildfire.

  • Avoid walking through flood waters; they may be contaminated with oil, gas or raw sewage. Waters may also be hiding hazards and debris.
  • Be aware of weather conditions in your area before driving. Many flood-related incidents are caused by vehicles driven into hazardous waters.
  • Use ODOT’s Tripcheck for the latest road conditions before traveling.
  • Heavy rains reduce drivers’ visibility. When driving, turn on your lights, increase following distance and slow down. Visit ODOT's webpage for Driving in the Rain Tips.
  • Heed the advice of emergency officials regarding evacuations.
  • Listen to weather and emergency updates on the TV, radio, social media.

Landslides
As Oregon recovers from the recent wildfires, residents living in and around wildfire areas should be aware of risks such as landslides and mudflows. People, structures and roads located below steep slopes in canyons and near the mouths of canyons may be at serious risk.

Signs of landslides include:

  • Changes in landscape such as changes in water runoff, leaning trees or land movement.
  • Water in streams or creeks that suddenly turns muddy or if the amount of water flowing suddenly decreases or increases.
  • New cracks in plaster, tile or foundations.
  • Unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together.
  • Underground utility line breaks.

For more information on landslides, check http://www.ready.gov/landslides-debris-flow.

Power outages
High winds and downed trees often cause of power outages. Take time to check your emergency kit before a storm hits. At a minimum, every home should have an emergency power outage kit that includes flashlights, battery-operated radio/clock, extra batteries, non-perishable foods, bottled water and blankets.  If you experience a power outage in your home or area:

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
  • Check on your neighbors.
  • Stay away from - and don’t drive around - downed power lines and utility lines; even if they are not sparking, they could be energized and extremely dangerous.
  • Turn on your porch light. After response crews complete repairs, they patrol the area of the power failure to see if any lights are still out.

Disaster preparedness is an important priority for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and we encourage people to prepare for emergencies. It’s critical for families, individuals, communities and businesses to make an emergency plan, and communicate the plan before, during and after emergencies. For additional preparedness resources, visit https://www.oregon.gov/oem/hazardsprep/Pages/Individual-Preparedness.aspx.

# # #

Post-fire erosion threat reports released - 01/11/21

SALEM, Ore. – On Monday, January 11, Oregon state agencies and federal partners released erosion threat reports related to the September 2020 wildfires.

The Erosion Threats Assessment and Reduction Team (ETART) is a multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency team, led by FEMA and the state of Oregon, charged with assessment of potential erosion risks and to provide control treatment recommendations. This group of subject matter experts coordinated with federal, state and local fire response teams as an early statewide recovery action.

This ETART team identifies risks and threats such as soil erosion, flooding potential, hazard trees and ecological impacts associated with each fire. Local and state jurisdictions will evaluate the findings through the filters of need, feasibility and cost, to prioritize recovery projects and inform funding decisions.

ETART summaries and full reports for the Beachie Creek, Archie, Holiday Farm and Riverside fires are available online at https://wildfire.oregon.gov/NCrecovery.

A virtual media availability is planned for later this week; a media advisory is pending with additional information. For details, please email Jo Niehaus, ETART public information officer, at jo.niehaus@oregon.gov.

For more information about wildfire recovery, please reach out to the Wildfire Recovery Information Center at e.info@oregon.gov">fire.info@oregon.gov. For specific questions about the ETART reports, please email esetart@fema.dhs.gov">2020wildfiresetart@fema.dhs.gov.

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Wildfire Recovery Update 1.6.2021 (Photo) - 01/06/21

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has posted the Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update for Jan. 6, 2020, to the Oregon Wildfire Resources page. See today's Wildfire Recovery update here

Photo Captions:
Blue River, Ore. - September 30 2020 - The process to remove damaged trees has begun. The Holiday Farm Fire destroyed businesses, homes and vehicles in Blue River, Oregon. Photo by David Yost/FEMA.
File: 2020-30-09_4562_ORFires_BlueRiver_1974.jpg

Medford, Ore. - November 24, 2020 - Manufactured housing units (MHU) and travel trailers line a staging site in Southern Oregon, waiting to be issued to people displaced by historic wildfires that destroyed homes throughout the state. FEMA supplies these temporary housing solutions to specific authorized counties after a major disaster. Photo by David Yost/FEMA.
File: DLY_0051.jpg

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Wildfire Recovery Update: Dec. 30, 2020 (Photo) - 12/30/20

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has posted the Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update for Dec. 30, 2020, to the Oregon Wildfire Resources page. See today's Wildfire Recovery update here

Photo Captions:

Lincoln County, Ore. - September 21, 2020 - Damage to water system equipment from the Echo Mountain Complex fire near Lincoln City Oregon. Photo by Jeff Markham/FEMA. 
2020-21-09_OR_4562_EchoMtnFire_4791.jpg

Lyon, Ore. - October 16, 2020 - A volunteer at the Mari-Linn School hands out food to a resident, which was donated by the Depart of Agriculture for families in need in Lyons, Oregon. Photo by Patsy Lynch/FEMA. 
2020-16-10_4562_Mari-linnfood_PL_02.jpg

 

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Wildfire Recovery Update Dec. 23, 2020 (Photo) - 12/23/20

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has posted the Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update for Dec. 23, 2020, to the Oregon Wildfire Resources page. See today's Wildfire Recovery update here

Photo Captions:
Detroit, Ore. - September 26 2020 - After a fire raced through the town of Detroit Oregon, most found their homes destroyed. Photo by Patsy Lynch/FEMA.
File: 2020-26-09_4562_ORFires_Detroit_PL_06.jpg

Gates, Ore. - October 8, 2020 - Linda Richison, a Gates, OR resident, holds up a sign alerting people in the area, that food and supplies are available.Photo by Patsy Lynch/FEMA. 
File: 2020-08-10_4562_GatesORcommunitysupport_PL_01.jpg

 

 

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Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update - Dec. 17, 2020 (Photo) - 12/17/20

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has posted the Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update for Dec. 17, 2020, to the Oregon Wildfire Resources page. See today's Wildfire Recovery update here

Photo Captions:

Lane County, Ore. - September 22, 2020 - Mobile Emergency Operations Vehicle (MEOV) supporting Upper McKenzie River Outreach site. Photo by FEMA.
File: 2020-22-09_OR_4562_McKenzie_090952.jpg

Phoenix, Ore. - October 9, 2020 - Damage from the Almeda wildfire. Photo by David Yost/FEMA.
File: 2020-09-10_4562_Phoenix_DLY_2428.jpg