Volunteers help Cottonwood Complex fire clean up efforts

Volunteers help clean up efforts for the Cottonwood Complex fire
Published: Mar. 19, 2022 at 8:03 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Homeowners in Reno County continue to clean up from the devastating Cottonwood Complex fire that raged through the area at the beginning of March.

Saturday, many received help from Reno County’s voluntary organizations active in disasters. Volunteers spent their morning helping those affected by the fire. Families affected by the cottonwood complex fire are now shifting from immediate need to long-term need.

Now, the grass is growing back, and people are taking their first steps in the cleaning process.

Lisa Gleason, a member of United Way of Reno County, says, “it does everyone’s heart good to be able to dig in and be here and let people know they have a community that’s supporting them.”

Volunteers from the county were out on family’s properties Saturday, including Benita Hayden, who lent a helping hand in the cleanup efforts. Hayden lost her home in the fire and said she’s thankful for the friends and family who have helped her clean up what is left of her house.

“We’ve got some good friends from church and other friends who are helping us clean this up. We’re marching forward. We are not gonna let any grass grow under our feet. We’ve gotta keep going. I even went as far as to buy carpet today. That is optimism,” said Hayden.

Hayden said she knows it will not be the same as her former house. But she is ready for the next step in the rebuilding process.

“I keep thinking of a verse in Isaiah where he says to let go of the old and forget the past, and I am springing forth new things.”

Copyright 2022 KWCH. All rights reserved.