McKenzie River Reflections - Make the McKenzie Connection!

Hazard tree cleanup is moving forward

 

January 14, 2021 | View PDF

"Over the past several months a lot of pieces had to come together, all heading to getting property cleanup done," according to Angela Beers Seydel, Public Information Officer with the Oregon Dept. of Transportation. "We've signed over 30 contracts for everything from project monitoring to landfill disposal. The lead contractors for hazard tree removal began mobilization of crews and equipment, with the ash and debris removal close behind. Subcontractors are being hired in accordance with a commitment to local Oregon businesses to encourage economic recovery; diversity, equity and inclusion; and workforce apprentices and on-the-job training."

Property owners impacted by the Holiday Farm Fire can now access a website-based map that will show progress as occurs.

Seydel said another section with answers to frequently asked questions has been developed at:https://wildfire.oregon.gov/cleanup.

On November 19th, the Oregon Wildfire Recovery Debris Management Task Force awarded a $75.5 million monitoring contract to CDR Maguire Emergency Management of Florida. Eleven days later, Alaska based Suulutaaq Inc.. won the $22.94 million contract for Holiday Farm Fire danger tree removal. A $22.20 million ash and debris removal contract involving 517 lots was awarded to AshBritt Environmental of Florida on December 9th.

Currently, workers are assessing hazard trees and marking ones for removal with a blue paint dot and bar code. "Once that is done, the hazard tree cutting work can begin," Seydel said. "We're looking at the ash and debris work beginning more toward the end of January. The address markers are going in now."

The trees have been identified by an independent arborist who determined if they died or have a high probability of not surviving. Trees will be felled up to two tree lengths away from the roadway if it's determined that they could hit the road. Hazard trees that threaten cleanup crews working on properties will also be removed.

ODOT officials say all non-merchantable timber will be chipped. The merchantable timber will be left for landowners. Merchantable timber on public property will be sold with the proceeds used to offset the cost of cleanup.

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Hazard tree cleanup

In addition, all chips will be spread on properties to limit erosion concerns, and no logs, brush or stumps will be left within 30 feet of the fog line to limit the danger to vehicles.

Seydel said work will begin at the eastern edge of the fire area and continue west along the McKenzie Highway. "This plan was determined with the county, based on the expectation that weather will be worse to the east first, and to get as much done as efficiently and safety as possible," she said. "They will operate six days a week, as weather allows. There will be long delays on the highway while trees are being felled."

More information:

· Wildfire cleanup webpage: https://wildfire.oregon.gov/cleanup

· Wildfire debris cleanup hotline: 503-934-1700 or [email protected]

· Highway travel conditions: TripCheck.com

 

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