State Providing No-Cost Fire Debris Cleanup
Article From Pam Marsh, State Representative Oregon House District 5 – Southern Jackson County
On November 16, the Oregon Debris Management Task Force announced that the State will provide no-cost wildfire ash and debris cleanup for all homes and businesses in the eight counties affected by the disastrous September wildfires, including mobile home parks, second homes, businesses, and other structures.
Home and business owners that opt into this government-led wildfire cleanup program will pay no upfront costs for any cleanup work. Additionally, no government agency–state, federal or contractor–will seek payment from any insurance policy unless it is specifically designated for debris removal or left over after the home or business is completely rebuilt.
Property owners need to sign a Right of Entry (ROE) form to allow cleanup crews onto their property to remove ash and structural debris, hazard trees, concrete foundations, and burned vehicles. To submit your Right of Entry form and for more information, visit wildfire.oregon.gov/cleanup or call the wildfire debris cleanup hotline: 503-934-1700.
Wildfire cleanup is a two-step process. Step 1 is removal of household hazardous waste, which is dangerous to people, communities and the environment. This work is nearly completed in all fire-impacted counties.
Step 2 is removal of ash and debris. The State is currently hiring contractors to carry out this work, scheduled to begin in December 2020. The task force is working closely with local governments to determine cleanup priorities for each area. Given factors such as weather impacts, property access limitations and the large area to be covered, Step 2 is estimated to take approximately 6 to 18 months to complete statewide. As the state task force gets contractors on board, more clarity on timing will be provided.
FEMA will reimburse the state for a portion of eligible costs. The State of Oregon will fund the remaining costs, regardless of FEMA reimbursement. Initial estimates put the debris cleanup tally at over $600 million, including $326 million for ash and debris removal and $295 million to remove damaged trees.This estimate is preliminary and is likely to change.
- Wildfire cleanup webpage: https://wildfire.oregon.gov/cleanup
- Wildfire debris cleanup hotline: 503-934-1700