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The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office closed parts of Dinkle Ditch Road and Fremont County Road 40 Tuesday evening after rainstorms caused debris-laden runoff from Cottonwood Creek to cover roads and bridges.

Hayden Pass Fire incident management officials reported more than a half-inch of rain fell near areas burned by the Hayden Pass Fire.

By Wednesday, CR 40 had reopened to residents only, and Western Fremont Fire Protection District and Fremont County Sheriff’s Office had begun assessing flood damage in the Cottonwood Creek drainage.

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Areas burned by the Hayden Pass Fire may in the future provide improved and additional wildlife habitat through increased forage opportunities.

The assessment of areas burned by the fire was published in a report by an interagency Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team that recently investigated changes in the forest.

A majority of the burned area was discovered to be forested and had burned “severely enough to kill most of the overstory,” the report stated.

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While the Hayden Pass Fire area received 0.07 inch of rain Saturday, a drying trend started Sunday, leading incident command officials to warn residents to expect more smoke.

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Unbroken sunshine through mid-afternoon and significantly higher winds than seen in several days influenced Hayden Pass Fire behavior starting around 2 p.m. Tuesday, incident management officials reported. 

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Crews made good progress Sunday falling dead standing trees with weakened root systems and clearing debris from the portion of the Rainbow Trail that was impacted by the Hayden Pass Fire, incident command officials reported. 

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Joe Gill, general manager of Cutty’s Resort on Hayden Creek, said he gave a sigh of relief when he returned to find the campground had been spared by the Hayden Pass Fire.

On Friday, the day after the last evacuees were allowed to return home, vacationing campers had taken up residence in the resort and reservations were being filled.

“We are back up and running,” he said.

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Reconnaissance flights continue to fly over the Hayden Pass Fire looking for smoke. 

Nick Stanzyk, incident command trainee, said Tuesday that fire behavior has been minimal, but crews are hiking into areas of the fire to investigate sources of heat. 

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A total of 143 firefighters continue to work on rehabilitation efforts and patrols of the Hayden Pass Fire after a significant reduction in personnel late last week.

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At least 105 firefighting crews, engines and support service crews and their equipment, representing 14 states, have assisted in fighting the Hayden Pass Fire on the ground since July 10. Below is a list of the names and states of origin of those groups who helped in the effort. The list was…

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Management of the Hayden Pass fire is now being lead by a Type III incident management team under the direction of Incident Commander Robert Smith.

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A rare trout population threatened by the Hayden Pass Fire is out of harm’s way after a rescue effort Wednesday by Colorado Parks and Wildlife moved 194 fish to new locations.

Teams of biologists gathered the unique form of greenback cutthroat trout from a 1-mile section of the South Prong of Hayden Creek during an operation that Greg Policky, CPW aquatic biologist, declared a “100 percent success.”

“We didn’t lose a single fish in the relocation process,” he said.

The Mountain Mail reported Monday about the 1996 discovery of the fish and how it became known that the species of interest is found nowhere else in the world.

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With 45 percent containment announced Wednesday, the Hayden Pass Fire firefighting operation is beginning to shift gears.

While the crews on the lines are still Type 2 – identified by the operational level of fire they are fighting – now their task is not to fight the fire. It is to begin the task of returning the areas protected from burning to something approaching normal.

“Our goal is to get this area cleared up by Friday,” said Steve Thime, Bravo team task force leader in charge of chipping crews working above the Fox Creek subdivision and Sangre de Cristo Drive. “We don’t leave things looking bad. We fix what we cut or take down. We try to leave it better.”

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Increased relative humidity with chances of thunderstorms have proved beneficial for fire suppression efforts.

Portions of the Hayden Pass Fire received 0.02 inch of rain while other areas received no precipitation at all, said Darren Clabo, incident meteorologist.

To be considered a more useful “wetting rain,” a tenth of an inch of rain or more must fall on the fire area, he said.

The short-term forecast suggests a continuation of a monsoonal pattern with higher relative humidity each night and no critical fire conditions for the next 7 to 10 days, said Clabo.

Containment of the fire is at 35 percent, and that figure was expected to increase during the day Tuesday, said Travis Lipp of planning operations.

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Hayden Pass Fire officials announced two pieces of good news Tuesday. The first is that containment is growing. The second is that the last evacuees will soon return home.

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Five firefighters on their way to the Hayden Pass Fire Thursday were injured in a traffic collision on Interstate 25 near Fort Collins, reader Brenda Wiard informed The Mountain Mail Monday.

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The fire suppression efforts of nearly 900 workers is made possible by a base camp that rivals a small town in number of services provided.

To handle the logistics of crews battling the Hayden Pass Fire, Facilities Unit Leader Travis Bailey and more than 80 crew members established a fully operational fire camp on the city-owned Vandaveer Ranch property off U.S. 50.

“We had a working camp ready in less than 24 hours,” said Bailey.

Services provided at the camp include meals, showers, sanitation, mechanical maintenance and tools for the firefighting effort, provided by the emergency response teams and as many as eight private contractors.

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The last displaced evacuees from the Hayden Pass Fire can return home Thursday, Fremont County Sheriff Jim Beicker said at a Tuesday morning fire briefing.

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Beginning at 8 a.m. today, most evacuees will be allowed to return home to most of the areas affected by the Hayden Pass Fire.

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In the wake of evacuation orders and other precautionary measures in the area affected by the Hayden Pass Fire, several area residents and organizations have offered shelter to evacuees and/or displaced animals. Local resources for those affected by the Hayden Pass Fire include the following:

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The backbreaking progress made by firefighting hand crews, structural teams and heavy equipment operators in the past few days means that containment percentages for the Hayden Pass Fire have finally tipped to the positive.

By Saturday night, the interagency response team announced containment had climbed to 20 percent, due in large part, said interagency operations lead Travis Lipp, “to herculean effort by the crews.”

As of 5 p.m. Sunday, the incident information website reported containment at 30 percent.

There are 816 firefighters on the fire lines. All structures in the evacuation areas on the perimeter of the fire are protected, and containment is on the west and north portions of the area.

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Safety was the theme of the night during a meeting to update the community on the Hayden Pass Fire Friday at Longfellow Elementary School in Salida.

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Evacuees from the Hayden Pass Fire received welcome news Monday – all evacuees from CR 1A, CR 40, Fox Creek, Eagle Peak Subdivision and Mosher Creek will be allowed to return home permanently Tuesday. 

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Incident command reported a red flag warning has been issued today due to relative humidity in the single digits and west, southwest wind gusts up to 30 mph.

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COALDALE – The Hayden Pass Fire continues to burn with zero percent containment, and none is likely until early next week, said Kale Casey, firefighter and public information officer.

With heavy activity and personnel movement, the lack of containment may come as a surprise to many.

Zero containment does not mean zero progress, said Evan Burks, firefighter and public information officer.

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Salida Vineyard Church, 1201 E. U.S. 50, has opened its doors to night-shift Hayden Pass Fire firefighters who need a place to sleep during the day. So far about 20 firefighters are sleeping at the church.

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In the wake of evacuation orders and other precautionary measures in the area affected by the Hayden Pass Fire, several area residents and organizations have offered shelter to evacuees and/or displaced animals. Local resources for those affected by the Hayden Pass Fire include the following:

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As the inter-agency assault on the Hayden Pass fire continues, some 650 firefighters and operations crews, including some forty engine groups, have arrived from many states to swelled the fire camp next to the Natural Resource Center on Salida's Vanderveer Ranch. As of Friday morning, the bu…

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The battle to contain the Hayden Pass Fire continues. And it is a battle in the same sense as fighting a war.

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The Hayden Pass Fire grew to 14,784 acres overnight Wednesday and remains zero percent contained.

The fire’s growth and direction prompted the operations group to order in its first load of fire retardant. It was dropped along the eastern perimeter of the fire, where crews are working to build fire lines just off Mosher Creek.

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Continued growth of the Hayden Pass Fire prompted more mandatory immediate evacuations around 4 p.m. Wednesday.

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office issued 911 emergency notifications for evacuation of Fremont County Road 35 and the Eagle Peak Subdivision on the west side of CR 1A.

Conditions Wednesday were perfect for continued growth of the fire that had consumed 12,800 acres by Wednesday morning. That was the assessment of Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team, leading the Hayden Pass firefighting effort.

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The Hayden Pass Fire grew to 14,784 acres overnight Wednesday, with growth primarily on the south and east, moving into Custer County.

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A total of 442 people are working on the Hayden Pass Fire with more on the way, said Shawna Hartman, public information officer.

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Several hundred people gathered Wednesday in the Cotopaxi High School gym as representatives from the Bureau of Land Management, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, the state and Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team spoke and answered questions from the community about the Hayden Pass Fire.

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The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have both issued Stage I fire restrictions effective today, covering all BLM lands in central and northern Colorado and the entire Pike and San Isabel National Forests.

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Evacuees from the Hayden Pass Fire face ongoing hardships with no definite time for when they will be able to return home.

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In the wake of evacuation orders and other precautionary measures in the area affected by the Hayden Pass Fire, several area residents and organizations have offered shelter to evacuees and/or displaced animals. Local resources for those affected by the Hayden Pass Fire include the following:

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A Salida-area resident said he saw lightning strikes that may have started the Hayden Pass Fire.

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The new liaison officer for the Hayden Pass Fire declared Tuesday the fire is the No. 1 incident emergency priority in the nation.

Overnight Monday, the federal Type 2 Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Blue arrived in the area, assuming command of firefighting operations.

As of Tuesday morning, the wildfire had burned 12,193 acres. While the wind remained relatively quiet early Tuesday afternoon, rising temperatures and falling humidity are expected to spur the fire’s growth.

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