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Waldo Canyon victims mentor Black Forest victims

By Scott Harrison
Published On: Aug 27 2013 08:47:01 PM CDT

Victims of this summer's wildfire learn from those who have recovered from last summer's blaze.

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. -

The second Mentor Connections session is happening tonight at the Pinery in Black Forest.  What better way for a fire victim to deal with recovery than by learning from another fire victim?

Victims of the Waldo Canyon Fire are volunteering to mentor Black Forest Fire victims. The first mentoring session was held three weeks ago; 63 people attended that session.

Alan Hale, a victim of the Black Forest Fire, said he wasn't sure what to expect but now encourages fellow victims to participate.

"(Waldo Canyon victims have) a lot of empathy because they've been through it," he said.  "So you're talking to people in the same boat.  They've been there, and it was assuring to know that there's people that we can talk to."

Carla Albers is one of the mentors.  She moved back into her rebuilt Mountain Shadows home in May and said her healing wasn't complete until then.

"We know how hard it's going to be for these folks," she said.  "Christmas will be tough.  Inventorying everything for insurance is the common complaint.  Sometimes they just want to vent.  But we want them to know they can get through it."

The sessions cover a variety of subjects, including mortgages, taxes, and the effect of a fire on children and seniors.  Aspen Pointe, a mental health provider, offers counseling if needed.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 has a crew at tonight's session and will bring you a full report at 10 p.m.

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