Colorado Air Force cadets help recovery effort

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A year after the Waldo Canyon fire destroyed over three hundred homes, the U.S. Air Force Academy is offering it's help with cadets helping to clear away debris leftover from the disaster.

On Sunday roughly 100 volunteers gathered in the Mountain Shadows community to assist in the cleanup that's stretched on since June 2012.

"Sometimes it's daunting just to see how much work there is to cleanup," said Mike Sidman, a resident of the Mountain Shadows neighborhood which was almost entirely destroyed in the wildfire. The blaze, which remains under investigation, is responsible for burning 18,000 acres. As part of their volunteer efforts, cadets collected branches, limbs, and debris that could act as fuel for future fires.

"Some things you don't even think about, you just want to help," said one cadet while working to cleanup the debris. Organizers of the event reported such a large turnout they had to turn some volunteers away.

"We're part of the community, the cadets are here to serve their nation, they see this as a way to give back for the way everything Colorado Springs gives to the academy," added Marty France, a colonel with the U.S. Air Force Academy.