© 2024 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Free Ash And Debris Clean-Up Offered To Home And Property Owners Affected By 2020 Wildfires

Brian Bull

People in eight Oregon counties affected by this year’s wildfires can have debris and ash removed for free.

The offer is for home and business owners in Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Douglas, Clackamas, Klamath, and Jackson counties. People need only sign up on a designated websiteand allow right of entry to clean-up crews.

Angela Beers-Sydel is with the Oregon Debris Management Task Force. She said opting for this service can save your health and money.

“Ash and debris are really dangerous," she told KLCC.  "They can contain asbestos and chemicals harmful to your health. Doing it through this process, you’ll know it will be done right.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
A home destroyed by this year's Almeda Fire, between Ashland and Talent, Oregon.

"It also saves money.  Cleaning up on your own can cost up to $75,000. That’s money you don’t have to rebuild later.”

Beers-Sydel said people who’ve already had the EPA come in and do hazardous waste removal are ready for “Step 2”.  She adds no one will be charged up front.

“The only time someone will be charged is if they have an insurance policy that specifically says, ‘this is for debris removal.’ And a lot of people don’t have that type of insurance. 

"Or if something’s left over after you’re done rebuilding your home or business, the state may want to recoup that.”

Work will begin in December. Statewide, the process will take 6 to 18 months, with an initial cost estimate of roughly $621 million.  FEMA will reimburse the state for some eligible costs. The state will cover the remainder.

Officials say the 2020 wildfires were the largest and most expensive in Oregon’s history.

Resources and Information:


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.
Related Content