Hazard tree removal is currently underway along the OR 126 McKenzie Highway corridor. Debris Management Task Force team members Joel Zeni and Kevin Finch provide an update on what this means and why it is a critical step in the path to recovery for the area.
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.