COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– Cadets from the Air Force Academy spent much of Sunday helping to restore the Waldo Canyon burn area.

A total of 14 cadets volunteered on the project to start restoration on the fire that started in June 2012 and burned 18,247 acres and 346 homes.

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The crews worked with the Rocky Mountain Field Institute to prevent erosion like mudslides and flooding in the burn area.

The volunteers said it’s a way to give back.

“We’re volunteering out here and we’re out here helping the community that always comes out to help us,” said Senior Airman Harris.

“The wood structures slow down water as it moves down the slope and break up the flow so it doesn’t rush too quickly into our drainages,” said Rocky Mountain Field Institute volunteer Andrea Hassler.

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