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Group formed to aid Yarnell community recovery

PHOENIX — A new group will assist the community affected by the Yarnell Hill Fire as it undergoes the rebuilding and recovery process.

The Yarnell Hill Recovery Group is composed of community leaders who are volunteering their time to help their residents restore order to their lives.

“About 20 people gathered together by phone and around the kitchen table, began talking, set up a steering committee, set up a kind of initial committee structure and we’ve been working ferociously since then,” said Frances Lechner, who represents the Yarnell Hill Fire Department board in the recovery group.

Lechner said the group will work to distribute resources for emergency housing, financial assistance, medical treatment, cleanup and contractor referral.

“We’re already a tightly-knit community and this is bringing us even closer together,” she said. “People who have lost their homes are working on this committee to help other people, so it’s just very, very moving.”

According to the group, the average age of a community member is 64 and a majority live on an income less than $16,000 per year.

Lechner said the group will do its best to work with numerous non-profit groups that have raised, in total, hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure that the funds are distributed where they are most needed.

For more information about the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group, click here.