The Willamette National Forest will soon begin removing roadside “danger trees” killed by the massive wildfires last summer in the Santiam and McKenzie canyons.
Officials say the project will improve safety and access to forest roads in the Detroit, McKenzie River and Sweet Home ranger districts.
“This project provides a vital first step to reopen fire-burned areas so we may move forward with fire restoration and repair and help the landscape recover,” said Willamette National Forest Supervisor Dave Warnack.
Danger tree removal occurs where fire-killed or weakened trees pose a safety risk to the public, employees, and/or infrastructure.
The project will begin as soon as contracts can be developed or existing contracts are modified to accomplish this important work; completion of this project will take several years.
Most danger trees that do not threaten roads, property, or infrastructure will be left standing.
Additionally, trees within riparian reserves and known cultural sites are generally left on site. Felled trees may assist with erosion control, restoration projects, cultural or community use, and commercial use that may benefit wildfire recovery, watershed restoration, and reforestation projects.
While many fire-impacted areas will take years to recover, the Forest Service says it’s working as quickly, safely, and efficiently as possible to restore safe access for forest users.
Part of restoring safe access for forest users is the removal of fire-weakened and killed danger trees along forest roads.
Roads will not reopen and critical wildfire repair work cannot begin if danger trees pose a safety threat to the public or employees.