Rebuilding a Community

It could take years to rebuild parts of Hutchinson County after the wildfire in May, but some are saying with help from the community, the area may be back to what it once was sooner than later.

Volunteer and Operation Rebuild Creator Dusty Daniels says, "it just amazing how many people have been desperately affected by this, and it's been months now. "

It's been two months since flames roared through parts of Hutchinson County, leaving hundreds homeless and many losing all of their belongings.

But the rebuild process is underway, and a volunteer behind Operation Rebuild tells us, it's looking good.

Daniels says, "it looks like the number of homes that will be needed have decreased significantly.  We've had plenty of people step up to say we will offer professoinal labor and of course we have plenty of volunteers who can also assist them."

Along with volunteers, Daniels says some businesses are also reaching out, like Ace Hardware and Home Depot.

We caught up with the American Red Cross, who were immediate responders to the fire victims and they say they're responsible for emergency needs, but...

Disaster Program Manager with Red Cross John Cummins says, "after that stuff is met we continue on with things such as case work, health care assistance, and mental health care assistance."

He says Celebration Church, United Way, Downtown Women's Club and the Salvation Army here in Amarillo are a few businesses they are teaming up with to provide long term support.

Catherine Meck with Salvation Army says, "we are working with 49 families right now and we are really trying to get them back into a rental assistance or a permanent housing situation." 

Meck says thanks to the community, the salvation army has raised about $110,000.

She says, "families are moving forward.  The ones that have had home owners insurance are back into new rental assistance and that type of thing.  So,  we are happy with the progress that we are making right now."

Meck tells us the salvation army is hosting Christmas in July, a lunch for the families of Fritch who have been impacted by the fires.

They're asking for volunteers and cookie donations.

Meck says this is a way to remind fire victims we haven't forgotten.

For more information about the lunch, Operation Rebuild, and Adopt a Square Foot head over to

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