Oregon wildfire ash and debris cleanup oversight contract awarded

Wildfires

Oregon Debris Management Task Force awards $75.5 million contract to CDR Maguire Emergency Management

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The job of monitoring cleanup of ash and debris from Oregon’s unprecedented Labor Day wildfires has been awarded to CDR Maguire Emergency Management, a national consultant,

According to a press release from Oregon Office of Emergency Management, the Oregon Debris Management Task Force awarded the $75.5 million contract Thursday based on the company’s approach to the project and qualifications, including their extensive experience on projects reimbursable by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The company will work with the ash and debris removal contractors to ensure the project mission to safely clear the ash and debris as quickly as possible. The goal is to leave a clean site where Oregonians can rebuild.

Tara Stark’s Detroit home was reduced to rubble after the Beachie Creek Fire swept through Marion County in late summer. (KOIN)

Monitoring oversight is required by FEMA to control costs, reduce waste and help eliminate fraud, the press release said. CDR Maguire Emergency Management will verify work to be done, its progress and its completion. The company will make sure to tie up any loose ends in the complicated process of cleanup and recovery, including ensuring the needs of the property owners are met, regulations complied with and paperwork completed.

Success of the company’s tasks makes the state of Oregon eligible to receive as much reimbursement as possible from FEMA for cleanup work. According to the press release, the state is committed to covering ash and debris cleanup costs, regardless of whether or not it is reimbursable by FEMA, to “help people recover from the wildfires, protect the health and safety of those in the area, and protect the environment.”

According to OEM, the 2020 September wildfires were the largest and most expensive disaster in Oregon’s history, tallying nine losses of life, more than 1 million acres burned and over 5,000 homes and businesses destroyed. Oregon is now in a statewide recovery after transitioning from immediate fire response.

A portion of eligible state costs for the cleanup will be reimbursed by FEMA, OEM said. Whatever isn’t covered by FEMA dollars will be covered by the State of Oregon. 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, though the estimate is preliminary and likely to change.

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