El Paso Red Cross volunteers helping with Arizona wildfire


POSTED: Friday, July 5, 2013 - 4:50am

UPDATED: Friday, July 5, 2013 - 7:58am

The American Red Cross of El Paso is headed to Arizona to support those affected by the wildfire still burning near Phoenix.

Hundreds of firefighters in Arizona battled a massive fire that claimed the lives of 19 firefighters making it the deadliest wildfire in 80 years.

On Thursday, residents were allowed to return home.

"I'm so happy to be going home and that we have a home. But all the devastation around us is probably going to be pretty traumatic," said one resident.

But more than 100 families will come home to nothing.

"It's sad because you see all the damage that is done and you see where people lose everything," said Red Cross Volunteer Maria Sanchez.

The Red cross of El Paso will provide water, shelter and mental health services for those impacted.

Sanchez will leave her family for about two weeks, some days working 13 hours.

"It's not easy. It's not easy and you have to be able to get up and go… to be able to go and leave everything behind," said Sanchez.

Sanchez has been volunteering with the Red Cross for 12 years and has experienced other natural disasters, most recently the flooding in San Antonio.

She does it because she loves helping others.

"I find it very fulfilling. It helps me realize that I am blessed," said Sanchez.

The wildfire that has burned more than 8,000 acres was 80 percent contained.

To donate to victims visit, http://www.redcross.org/az/phoenix/ways-to-donate
To volunteer for the Red Cross visit, http://www.redcross.org/tx/el-paso

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