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Denver7 Gives viewers donate thousands to help clean-up efforts after East Troublesome Fire

Denver7 Gives East Troublesome Fire
Posted at 11:32 AM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 13:33:13-04

Denver7 features the stories of people who need help and now you can help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.

GRANBY, Colo. — The East Troublesome Fire stands as the second-largest wildfire in Colorado’s history, burning more than 192,000 acres, destroying hundreds of homes and structures, and killing one couple.

Eight months later, the mountain’s burn scars are a painful reminder of what was lost.

"It's really sad. And walking through the dust and the dirt — it's hard," said resident June Matson.

That dust and dirt used to make up Matson’s home, where she had lived for 30 years. All that’s left are pieces of the foundation.

"And it's not the expensive things, you know. It's the things that hold memories: your kid’s things or your parent’s things or heirlooms. Things like that," she said.

READ MORE: The untold stories of resilience and recovery in Grand Lake after the East Troublesome Fire

Searching through the rubble of Matson’s neighbor’s home, volunteers with Colorado Baptist Disaster Relief try to find anything that could be left behind.

"We do sifting, looking for jewelry or anything that they might think that might survive," said Dennis Belz, state director for the Colorado Baptist Disaster Relief.

Hours of work under the sun paid off when they found a diamond ring in the ashes.

Denver7 Gives: Volunteers help with wildfire recovery and clean up_ring found

"When you find something that people really wanted to find and couldn’t and never thought they’d see it again, yeah, they get excited," Belz said.

After the search is done, the property is cleared out, at no expense to the homeowner and then it’s onto the next home.

Those costs are covered by the Grand Foundation, a local nonprofit.

Denver7 viewers stepped up when asked to help the victims of last year’s wildfires. They contributed more than $325,000 to fire victim relief through Denver7 Gives. Some of that will keep these volunteers working.

Thanks to the generosity of Denver7 Gives viewers, a $20,000 check was provided to help volunteers continue recovering in the area.

Even after losing it all, there’s faith and hope in starting over.

"It's bittersweet. It's the beginning of a new beginning because you have to get rid of the old to start again," Matson said.

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