- Wheeler, OR
- Site Type:
- Roads, Bridges, and Tunnels, Infrastructure and Utilities, Forestry and Agriculture
- New Deal Agencies:
- US Forest Service (USFS), Conservation and Public Lands
- Quality of Information:
Development of a “truck trail,” as fire roads were called, was the first priority of the members of #2908 at Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp Nehalem when the camp opened in 1935. The camp was located on the edge of the Tillamook Burn.
The Tillamook Burn of 1933 was the first of four successive, large forest fires in the northern Oregon Coast Range (1933; 1939; 1945; 1951) that destroyed thousands of acres of what was then private forest land. The 1933 fire burned through 240,000 acres, creating conditions that fueled future fires. At the time of the first fire, vehicle access of any sort was limited. Vehicle access for forest management and firefighting needed to be addressed.
Over a period of four years, CCC enrollees completed the graveled Nehalem River Truck Trail through mountainous terrain. Now called Foss Road, the road is 27 miles long and cuts diagonally through forest land from US Highway 26 on the north to Highway 101 on the south. Its significance as part of a new system of fire roads is suggested by several reports in the state’s major newspaper on the CCC Camp Nehalem construction workers’ progress.
In February 1939, the Oregonian announced: “The past year has seen considerable progress on the Nehalem River truck trail. It is expected that the road will be completed to the mouth of the Salmonberry River by late fall.” Unfortunately, in summer 1939, the second fire burned through 209,000 acres including 19,000 acres of previously unburned forest.
(1937) "2908th Company: Camp Nehalem Oregon P-221," Vancouver Barracks - Civilian Conservation Corp: Ninth Corps Area Official Annual Report. pp. 135-137.
"Camp Nehalem Boasts Safety Record," Oregonian. February 19, 1939.
"CCC Camp Builds Sizeable Bridge Across Nehalem," Oregonian. March 18, 1936.
Decker, Doug. "Tillamook Burn," Oregon Encyclopedia. https://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/tillamook_burn/#.YgxLsojMJM1 Viewed February 14, 2022.
"Inspects Truck Trail Route," Oregon Journal. March 7, 1937.
Site originally submitted by Judith T Kenny on February 15, 2022.
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