An army of volunteers swarmed the area burned by the Charlotte Fire on Saturday to help victims in the first steps of rebuilding.
Almost 2,000 volunteers in bright yellow ‘Mormon Helping Hands’ vests began covering the hillsides left blackened by the Charlotte Fire.
Small groups of volunteers were paired up with homeowners affected by the fire, tasked with doing whatever was needed.
“It’s just a great opportunity to help out our brothers and sisters. People who lost their homes in the fire, people who have a lot less than we do,” volunteer Brady Bates said.
Among piles of twisted debris, and homes with only chimneys left standing, the volunteers helped the dozens of families who’ve lost just about everything.
“You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, and you sure find out now,” said Scott MacButch, whose home was destroyed by the fire.
MacButh had lived in his home for more than 30 years, before flames consumed it in one afternoon.
He said it’s been hard to sleep since the fire, but now with the decision to rebuild and seeing the help of these volunteers, he can see a small oasis springing up out of this moonscape.
“I just can’t express all the gratitude I got for people you don’t even know that show up from up as far as Rexburg. They come from all kinds of places just to help out a guy in need. People do care,” MacButch said.
Local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized the massive clean-up, but many locals who are members of the LDS church showed up to pitch in as well.
“It certainly was organized through our church but it’s really a community effort. And it’s a great community that we live in and a wonderful place to be,” LDS Pocatello Idaho Stake President Ken Stucki said.