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Wildfire Cleanup

Wildfire Cleanup

Wildfire Cleanup was a Two-Step Process

The State of Oregon worked with federal, state and local partners for fast, efficient and safe cleanup of the wildfires that devastated Oregon in summer 2020.

The Oregon Departments of Transportation, Environmental Quality and Emergency Management led the effort. The group is called the Oregon Wildfire Debris Management Task Force.

Property owners who participated in the state-led cleanup will not pay any money up front for debris removal on their property.*

Step 1 Cleanup

The state and EPA cleared hazardous waste dangerous to the public. Work for this step was completed in early December 2020.

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Step 2 Cleanup

State-hired contractors removed hazard trees, and ash and debris. Work began in December 2020 and was completed in late June 2022.

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Questions about wildfire cleanup? Email questions to

*Property owners will pay no upfront cost if they are participating in the state-led cleanup program. If your insurance policy specifically designates funds for cleanup and you do not use them, or if there are insurance funds left over after you have rebuilt your home or business, the state will ask for those funds as reimbursement. This would happen after the entire cleanup process is completed.

Why this process is important

We understand that, as Oregonians, we want to return to our communities and begin the recovery process. Waiting for a larger process to get set up can be frustrating, but there were important reasons for doing this.

Save Money

Removal of household hazardous waste and debris can be an incredibly expensive process, costing as much as $75,000. Even with insurance, a majority of this cost may not be covered. The state is committed to paying for removal of household hazardous waste, which means that property owners can reserve their insurance funds for other recovery efforts.

FEMA Reimbursement and Eligibility

FEMA does not work directly with individual property owners on cleanup work. FEMA will only work with and reimburse the state or county for cleanup work.

Threat to Your Health

Doing your own cleanup without proper protection puts your health at risk. Burned materials are hazardous and require more than gloves and a mask to protect your health. Buildings constructed before 2004 are likely to contain asbestos, which is carcinogenic.

Difficult to Dispose

Many landfills require specific documentation of the waste people drop off so they can handle it properly and comply with their regulation. This can include lab results to determine what hazardous materials are in your debris. If you do not have the proper documentation, you may not be allowed to dispose of your debris.

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Questions about wildfire cleanup? Email questions to


Additional Resources