Local author to share wildfire recovery, healing process

Catholic Charities to host free event to support residents impacted by Marshall Fire

Lafayette, CO—Local author and wildfire survivor Fran Rutherford will share her experience of recovery, rebuilding and healing in support of recent victims of the Marshall Fire that destroyed homes in Louisville and Superior, Colo.

Catholic Charities of Denver is hosting an evening featuring Rutherford and her book “Rising from the Ashes: Disaster Recovery for the Homeowner” starting 6:30 p.m.- 9 p.m. May 19 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 715 Cabrini Drive in Lafayette. The event is free and open to anyone. Complementary copies of Rutherford’s book and resources for victims will be available.

When the Rutherford family’s home was burned in 2013 from the Black Forest Fire, she and her husband adopted the motto “always forward, never back” inspired by Spanish missionary Fr. Junipero Serra. It became critical in recovering financially, materially and emotionally from the devastating fire, which at the time was the most destructive fire in Colorado history.

“In all fires and in other disasters, there’s a lot of blame to go around,” Rutherford said. “Forgiveness is very important. Also, to accept what has happened without blaming God. We couldn’t get struck there. It keeps you from doing what you need to do. Your success in this is going to depend on your effort to move forward.”

Rutherford will share practical and honest advice on how she and her husband, Larry, rebuilt her home within 14 months after the Black Forest Fire.

“It’s extremely sad when you lose everything,” Rutherford said to the Marshall Fire victims. “The sadness is very real. I have a lot of empathy for the families impacted by the fire.”

Catholic Charities of Denver was one of several local parishes, charitable and emergency responders that worked together to provide wildfire victims resources, supplies and connections to regain stability and begin the long road of recovery. Learn more about Catholic Charities response at ccdenver.org/marshallfire.