PHOENIX, Ore. — It's been more than six months since the Almeda, South Obenchain, and Slater fires swept through Jackson, Josephine, and Siskiyou counties — scorching thousands of acres and leaving thousands of people without their homes or businesses.
“We can never lose sight of the fact that this is all about people. We have tons of residents, tons of our neighbors who were displaced by this horrible tragedy that happened down here," said Kevin Alvarado, PIO for the Debris Management Task Force for the South Region. "So being able to see the fact that we've gotten past the halfway point on this, that means the world, because that means that we're one step closer to recovery for this region.”
In the areas of Talent and Phoenix that were leveled by the Almeda Fire, a number of the mobile home parks are working to have ash and debris removal done. It's a two-step process that started back in the middle of January. Crews are currently working on mobile home parks like the Coleman Creek Estates.
“Concrete is recycled, the metals recycled, and then the ash and debris is all taken to a landfill. Then really one of the last steps that we need to undertake is the removal of hazard trees,” Alvarado said.
Crews are currently working on mobile home parks like the Coleman Creek Estates. The crews are described as the Debris Management Task Force. The task force is combined of groups from the Oregon Departments of Transportation, Environmental Quality and Emergency Management.
The process for cleaning up home sites is at last beginning to pick up ,with Alvarado saying that they have cleared about 1,021 sites in the Almeda corridor in the Rogue Valley. That equals about 60 percent of the burned areas.
“So, we're really excited about the pace we've been able to achieve. However, we understand that no pace is fast enough,” Alvarado said.