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EWEB Works To Control Erosion Following Holiday Farm Fire

Brian Bull

Following the devastating Holiday Farm Fire that burned 173,000 acres across the McKenzie River Corridor last month, utility crews are working to safeguard the local water supply.

Joe Harwood of EWEB says the fire caused “significant damage” to the area watershed.  Now with winter rains coming, they’re focused on erosion control and containment.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Joe Harwood, spokesperson for EWEB, at Blue River.

“We want to prevent any of the burned debris including toxic ash from getting into the McKenzie River," he told KLCC. 

"It increases water treatment costs, it could eventually limit the production of treated water from our Hayden Bridge plant.”

Harwood says they’ve identified 150 high priority properties along the watershed, and have used a contractor to move debris away from the river.  He says McKenzie River locals can contact EWEBfor a free fire assessment, and possibly erosion control measures on their property.

Credit Joe Harwood / EWEB
The black fence is sediment fencing, and the snake-like material is a “waddle”; filled with wood chips and mulch to help slow down stormwater before it hits the sediment fence.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.