Hearts all over America shattered when the devastating wildfires broke out in northern California this fall, killing 44 people and destroying thousands of homes, with almost 3000 destroyed in Santa Rosa alone. But for Cam, born and raised about an hour from Santa Rosa, the losses felt personal, which is why she jumped in to help.
"I just wanted to go back there to thank the firefighters and first responders for what they did," she tells Rolling Stone Country. "With the intensity of that fire, it's amazing that they saved as many people as they did."
The generous singer, who donated instruments to help the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts restock, also helped with the cleanup, wanting to be part of the healing process for the community.
"It looked like Mars or something, it looked like a movie," she recalls. "You imagine you’d see parts of structures still there, but because it burned for such a long time, there were whole neighborhoods that were completely flattened. Like the metal of car wheels just melted.”
Cam also visited the remnants of the home of a firefighter, who lost his house to the flames. But instead of offering comfort to the family, the 33-year-old found herself encouraged by the man's attitude.
"He put it really well -- the whole point of life is that he got his family out safe, he got his family back," she says. "His whole house was destroyed and we were standing there looking at it, but it meant nothing. He was like, 'This doesn’t mean anything to me. The only thing that means something is people.'
"It was pretty heavy stuff, but it was wonderful to see how there was a good side to the story," continues Cam. "The community rallied around each other to reconstruct and rebuild, and that's so important. It's the second part of what happens when there's a big fire like this."
Although the fires in northern California have been contained, southern California residents are still battling the flames. To help with the relief effort, visit Go Fund a Hero or the Redwood Credit Union Fire Relief Fund.
Cam just released her latest single, "Diane," her first from her upcoming sophomore album. Download the song on iTunes.