Jackson Co. begins cleanup of Almeda Fire aftermath

JACKSON CO., Ore.– “We’re really trying to get this done as quickly as possible”, says Lauren Wirtis of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. “Each property that EPA cleans up is someone’s home or business so we know this work cant happen fast enough.”

Jackson County says there is a method to the madness.

Acting emergency operations center manager john vial says some residential areas will be cleaned up before others.

Randy Nattis, Incident commander for EPA, says the cleanup of household materials is key to the big picture operation.

He said, “This work allows the workers who come in later to remove ash and debris to do their work safer and reduce the risk of exposure of harmful chemicals and other toxic products.”

The EPA said the timeline of when it might finish phase one of the project is dependent on how quickly people send in their right of entry forms.

Its not just time, but also location that plays a part.

Boise Cascade in Central Point is serving as a staging area for the dumping.

The site is just across the street from residential areas. The EPA said this doesn’t pose a problem.

“We have seen and will not expect to see any issues with local air quality from particulates or anything else that we will take up and transfer to the staging areas,” says Nattis.

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