OR 126 McKenzie Highway pilot car access begins for residents

Resident caravans begin at the west end closure at 1 p.m. 

VIDA — Residents affected by the Holiday Farm/McKenzie Fire will be able to access their properties via pilot car guided caravans beginning Friday afternoon, Sept 25. Through travelers should continue to take alternate routes.   

Pilot car caravans for local residents will run between the road closure points, on the west end two miles east of Vida at milepost 27.55 to east of Finn Rock at milepost 38, one direction at a time.

Pilot cars will operate under the following schedule:

 Friday, Sept 25, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Caravans will begin at the west end at 1 p.m., MP 27.55 and run back and forth through the closure area.

 Saturday and Sunday, Sept 26-27, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

  • Caravans will begin at the west end at 8 a.m., MP 27.55 and run back and forth through the closure area.

Monday through Friday, Sept 28 – Oct 2, morning and evening access

Morning:

  • 8 a.m. west to east
  • 9 a.m. east to west

Evening:

  • 4 p.m. west to east
  • 5 p.m. east to west
  • 6 p.m. west to east

Residents will be guided by ODOT vehicles in caravan groups.

  • Once residents leave the highway they will not be escorted.
  • To return to the closure points, wait for a pilot car heading in the needed direction.
  • Trees and rocks continue to fall on the road day and night. Pilot cars are in radio communication and have safety equipment for hazards.
  • The road remains closed to all travel at night because of the danger.

Caravan hours and the closure zones will change as needed. Schedules past Oct 2 will depend on road safety and remaining work.

Anyone traveling in the area should be prepared for lengthy delays from falling trees and rocks. Recovery crews are continuing work to make the road accessible and restore utilities.

While some damaged trees have been removed, a second and possibly third round of tree removal will occur as more trees die from fire damage. Property owners may find that more trees will be removed over the next weeks and months.

Once initial tree and rock removal and stabilization is done, ODOT crews will be repairing burned pavement, replacing destroyed guardrail and signs, and clearing culverts and ditches. Travelers should expect multiple work zones with lengthy delays for months to come.

For the latest information on road conditions, visit TripCheck.com or call 5-1-1.

For information, pictures, and video on ODOT’s response to wildfires throughout the state: https://www.oregon.gov/odot/Pages/wildfire.aspx