Southern California Firm, Sukut Construction, Contracted for Environmental Cleanup of San Bernardino Fire

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Construction company specializing in environmental cleanup begins removal of debris left from fire-ravaged homes in Lake Arrowhead area.

Environmental cleanup

Our goal is to protect the residents and keep the groundwater and lake free from contamination

A leading California environmental cleanup company, Sukut Construction, has begun work on demolishing and removing debris left by the recent Southern California fires that destroyed homes within the Lake Arrowhead region. The company will remove the toxic- and non-toxic debris left by the 517 ravaged homes that were burnt when the uncontrolled fire made its way through the community. The impacted homes are located in four mountain neighborhoods: Grass Valley/Crab Flats; Running Springs; Green Valley Lake; and the Fredalba/Smiley Park area.

Sukut, known for having extinguished the longest burning tire fire in Tracy, Calif., was awarded the 19.6 million contract by the County of San Bernardino. The company has sought several subcontractors from within the region to assist with the clean up.    

The Santa Ana-based Sukut was chosen for this project partially because its experience with the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) in cleaning up after the recent Angora fire in Lake Tahoe. Sukut has also worked with CIWMB in the remediation of more than 60 illegal dump sites in California, and the nation's longest-burning tire fire, a mountain of seven million tires in Tracy, Calif. The company is currently winding down its environmental response to the 2007 San Diego wildfires.

San Bernardino County chose to coordinate the work on a regional basis under a model developed by the CIWMB, Sukut, and other contractors following the devastating 2007 fire in Lake Tahoe, rather than leave the cleanup to individual property owners. This is a case where there is a hazardous setting laden with potentially toxic material that could be harmful to the environment and the area's residents. It was decided that a coordinated model would result in a quicker, safer and more environmentally sound outcome.

"Our goal is to protect the residents and keep the groundwater and lake free from contamination," said Dave Grattan, president of Sukut's environmental division. "Everyone on this job is hazmat trained."

The Sukut team will lead the way in tackling tons of molten debris, car and appliance carcasses, and dangerously unstable chimneys. Making this job even more dangerous than most Southern California environmental cleanup Sukut has worked on is its location. The team will work on steep hillsides that can only be reached by way of narrow roads and a lot of hairpin turns. The company estimates the time for each individual home site cleanup at two to three days, which is a result of the challenges faced by the mountainous terrain.

Sukut has already moved crews and heavy equipment into the devastated neighborhoods. It anticipates hauling 120 to 150 truckloads of debris per day to a landfill, after recyclables and hazardous waste have been separated. The job is expected to be complete in 40 to 60 working days, weather and recent heavy snowfall permitting.

Sukut Construction was founded 40 years ago. The company has since attained a high ranking within the top 250 largest contractors in the nation. Its services include: environmental cleanup; land development and mass grading, for which it is ranked #1 in California; water treatment and infrastructure construction; landfill construction; emergency landslide repairs and ground stabilization; flood and storm water structures; and golf courses and resorts. Sukut Construction is headquartered in Santa Ana, California, with offices in Oceanside, Los Angeles, and Riverside, California. More information on Sukut may be obtained at sukut.com or by calling Sukut headquarters at (888)-SUKUT01 or (888) 785-8801.

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Michael Bobeczko

Lisa Porter
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