Vail woman steps up to help hometown devastated by Camp Fire

Vail woman helping wildfire victims in California

VAIL, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Paradise lives up to its name for Kaitlyn Woodcock.

"It's beautiful. The sunsets are beautiful. Any kind of forest beauty you can think of."

Cheering alongside her friends in high school, graduating with those closest to her in 2017. She holds those memories close. She moved to the Vail area shortly after.

"Together we are one big family community," she said.

It’s a place she’ll never forget. Her love for Paradise inked on her ankle. Her hometown now in ruins after the Camp Fire ravaged through it.

"There were text messages saying oh my gosh, we're losing everything. I want to tell you I love you. I started crying."

19-year-old Woodcock has been glued to social media since the fires began.

"It sucks that it's like, wow that's my hometown. It's like a nightmare and I'm still trying to wake up."

She showed us videos her friends shared of the chaos, driving down a road with burning trees on both sides of them.

The numbers of those dead or missing are still going up a week later.

"It's just hard not knowing who it is, if I know them - anybody close. Someone that lived near me. It's also hard that there's over 600 people missing. It's a small town. It hits close," she said.

All that emotion drove her to help. She’s currently studying to be a firefighter and EMT and wishes she could be there in person.

"I want to rebuild with them. As hard as it's going to be, I'm going to try," Woodcock said.

But for now, collecting items from clothing to housewares to send to her loved ones and other fire victims will do.

Any items you have can be taken to the Ace Hardware at 7451 South Houghton Road, near Valencia.

Woodcock will send any items she collects to a friend in San Francisco, who will then deliver them to those who lost everything in Paradise.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.