Fire Disaster Response
Fires have been sweeping across the western states with unprecedented speed and devastation. Last year, two of the most devastating fires this state has ever seen occurred in Northern California. Cal Fire has released a map detailing the fire hazards in the state of California and much of the northern part of our state falls within the most severe categories. Virtually every resident of Northern California has been impacted by wildfires, including the staff here at Guzi-West. It has been our privilege to help rebuild our communities and we strive to make this difficult process easier with compassion, transparency and flexibility.
The process of clearing a property after a wildfire can be incredibly confusing, and often just the act of finding companies to meet all your needs proves most difficult. Assuming the fire is declared a federal/state disaster, then property owners must make a decision on whether to opt into the debris removal program run and overseen by the government agencies OR opt out and utilize their insurance/funds to pay for the costs of debris removal. We offer a streamlined, customized approach to each property and can perform all major stages of work in-house, as detailed below. Guzi-West has made available numerous writeups on making decisions regarding opting in and opting out, and trying to understand insurance coverage. We advise many property owners to opt into government programs depending on their insurance coverage, goals for rebuilding, and desired timelines. Whether you opt in or opt out, you will need to complete the following steps:
Prior to the removal of hazardous materials and household hazardous wastes (HHW), a California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) Certified Asbestos Consultant (CAC) should assess and sample all residential and other affected areas of the site, to identify and remove gross asbestos [Cal. Code Regs., tit. 22, § 66262.11(b)(2)Opens in New Window]. This is to ensure that any areas identified as containing gross asbestos material will not be disturbed by hazardous materials cleanup personnel. Guzi-West has members on staff who perform asbestos surveys.
Work Plan Submittal
Demolition, asbestos abatement and hazardous material contractors will work with CACs, and other personnel to develop a work plan. This plan identifies site testing and analysis completed in order to determine how and what hazardous wastes (including asbestos, if present) will be removed along with other fire debris. The work plan also includes detailed erosion control methods, soil grading, dust mitigation and debris disposal methods to assist your contractor in removing all waste safely and to OSHA standards. Once your lot is cleared, confirmation soil sampling analysis is the last portion of work performed to ensure a safe condition to rebuild.
The work plan will be submitted to the County and/or the City Building Department (depending on where your property is located as well as who is overseeing the cleanup program). Once the application is approved, the County/City will issue a debris removal permit. Guzi-West will submit the plan and communicate with the oversight department on your behalf.
Hazardous Waste Removal
Asbestos and other hazardous wastes will be removed from your property by a certified asbestos abatement contractor. We’ll work closely with the landfills in the area to make sure the debris can and will be disposed of in the correct location.
Ash and fire debris along with metals and concrete will be removed and disposed of and/or recycled where appropriate with the appropriate agencies. This is typically performed by a Certified Debris Removal Contractor.
3-6 inches of soil from the impacted area will be removed after the ash and debris are cleared to a level of “visually clean”. This soil is expected to be placed into clastic lined waste haulage containers and taken to a landfill. We work with local agencies to ensure the proper disposal location.
Confirmation Soil Sampling
Soil samples are collected from 0-3 inches of the impacted area (which is the recently cleaned portion of your property) for confirmation. Soil samples will be analyzed for heavy metals and compared with clean-up goals set by the EPA and local environmental agencies for the area. These goals differ from location to location. We have Geologists on staff to perform soil sampling and create the reports necessary for proper compliance and report finalization.
Guzi-West creates a final report using the confirmation soil sample results and the debris removal landfill certificates generated by the contractor. This final report is submitted to the County/City and a permit to rebuild with be authorized for your property.
Get Started Today: Contact Our Fire Disaster Response Team in California!
If you’ve been affected by a catastrophe and want a company you can trust to help you with the rebuilding process, we’ve got your back! Contact us today to get started! (888) 351-8189.