Texomans Help Colorado Wildfire Victims

Last Saturday, members from First Baptist Church of Wichita Falls made their way to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to take part in an annual missionary project with children.

But as they prepared to return to Texoma yesterday, another group of local volunteers prepared to head there to offer their help.

Shortly after the Waldo Canyon fire started raging Saturday near Colorado Springs, Colorado, members of First Baptist Church had to change their plans from helping run a children's day camp in the area to helping run an evacuation shelter.

"By Monday, working in the day camp with the children there, we began to sense that one of our primary reasons perhaps for being there was to allay the fears and help these children with their concerns," says Rod Payne, with First Baptist Church.

On Thursday, while that group prepared to return to Texoma, an American Red Cross volunteer quickly packed and headed to the area.

"He goes in and helps assess the number of homes that they've lost so we know how much supplies to send, that kind of stuff. He works directly with the emergency management people in the local area, says Katrina Farmer, executive director for the American Red Cross of North Central Texas.

And as the wildfire continues to rage, several local red cross volunteers are now on standby... waiting for the call to pack up and head out to Colorado.

Red Cross officials say once called, those volunteers will hustle to the Colorado Springs area with the chapter's emergency response vehicle to help feed evacuees and firefighters.

As for the group from First Baptist Church, they safely returned to the Wichita Falls area about three hours ago.

The fire is now 25- percent contained and has destroyed more than 347 structures.

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