Latest News – Hayden Pass Fire
** UPDATE: Hayden Pass Fire ** July 21 – Morning
All residents affected by the Hayden Creek Fire will return to their homes today, July 21, 2016. The structure protection division continues to back haul sprinklers, hoses and pumps as homeowners return home. Residents will continue to see smoke from the interior of the fire until the area receives significant precipitation. Rehabilitation of hand and dozer lines with water bars and reseeding continue as well as mopping up and cold trailing along firelines.
Fire crews will require fewer helicopters and airplanes today but will continue to use them to cool remaining hot spots on the edges and interior of the fire. Over 1 million gallons of water have been used by planes and helicopters in suppression efforts.
Human Resource Manager Bill Otani tasked crew leaders to “teach patience by example” as they work with less experienced firefighters. The community has modeled patience for firefighters and managers, we are grateful for the example you have provided.
Today’s weather will bring temperatures of 80-85 degrees, with a relative humidity of 25-30%. Firefighters are expecting strong gusting winds coming out of the southwest this afternoon. There is a 90% chance of thunderstorms this afternoon after 1300 diminishing to 40% after 2100.
** UPDATE: Hayden Pass Fire ** July 18 – Morning
Hayden Pass fire operations went well on Sunday, July 17. The hand lines along the Hayden Pass road held. There was reduced burning within the containment lines around the north and east flanks. Crews patrolled and improved the containment lines from Big Cottonwood Creek to Lake Creek. Hot shot crews continued their direct line attack between Balman Reservoir and Rainbow Lake, with work continuing tomorrow.
TToday’s weather will be calmer than today. It will bring temperatures around 77 degrees, with a relative humidity of 20%. Firefighters are expecting far lower winds than today, with west-southwest winds gusting to 13 mph. The forecast brings a mostly cloudy outlook.
The Sangre de Cristo Wilderness will continue to be closely monitored for fire activity. The public can expect to see pockets of unburned fuel in the Wilderness. Wilderness integrity will be maintained by following Agency policy and Land Management Plan guidance. Wildfires are a key agent of ecological change for nearly all for the ecosystems with in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. Individual species and plant communities have evolved with wildfire and have adapted to it in various ways. Periodic fires are essential to maintaining the health and diversity for plant communities and sustaining wildlife populations in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.
The public is cautioned to be on the lookout for animals fleeing the fire. Be especially aware of the deer, bighorn sheep and mountain goats fleeing downhill into the quieter valley floor at all hours of the day and night.
Hayden Pass Fire in Fremont County Doubles in Size
Today’s hot, dry and windy conditions fed the Hayden Pass Fire allowing it to rapidly spread to the southeast and more than double in size from yesterday. The fire remained in unpopulated areas and no structures have been lost. The forecast for tomorrow remains hot and dry with less wind. Fire managers expect additional growth tomorrow.
This will be the last update issued by the Salida Ranger District. The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team will be issuing updates beginning tomorrow (July 12).
Today, July 11 the Hayden Pass Fire near Coal Dale in Fremont County has grown significant from a reported 5,100 acres this morning to an estimated 7,500 acres.
This change has activated additional evacuation orders for residents in the area. Updates can be found at the Fremont County Sheriff Office’s Facebook Page.
At this point, the fire is at 0% containment as multiple agencies are on scene and additional resources are en route. While the fire is on the “other side of the mountain/ Sangre de Cristos,” Saguache County residents are concerned and encouraged to maintain situational awareness as strong and unpredictable winds increase throughout the afternoon.
Overnight, incident command officials with the Hayden Pass Fire released a fact sheet concerning the status of the incident. Last night a reverse 911 call went out to residents within a 3-mile radius from Coaldale at Fremont County Road 6 with the following message: Anyone in the Coaldale area near County Road 6 and the Fox Creek subdivision are on a pre-evacuation status due to potential increased fire activity.
As of 7 a.m. this morning (Monday July 11) anyone living on CR 6 South of CR 45 is on a mandatory evacuation. Evacuation points are determined to be for people at the Howard Fire Department and for large animals it will be at the Chaffee County Fair Grounds. If things change, officials will send out an additional reverse 911 immediately. Please DO NOT call 911 unless you are imminent danger.
The Hayden Pass Fire is located approximately 5 miles southwest of Coaldale. Yesterday, July 10 the fire exploded in size drawing its fuel from mixed conifer and heavy dead and down trees in the rugged terrain. The fire is now estimated to be at 5,100 acres.
For Saguache County residents on the other side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range, the billows of ominous smoke lit up the social media feeds about the fire’s activity. At this point there is no threat to any structures or residents in Saguache County.
The blaze started on the San Isabel National Forest and has progressed onto the Rio Grande National Forest. The fire is predominately located in Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. There are multiple agencies on hand fighting the blaze, including Western Fremont Fire, Fremont County Sheriff, and the U.S. Forest Service. Multi Mission Aircraft (MMA) have also been dispersed to help fight the fire from the air.
Sign Up for San Luis Valley Emergency Alerts
If you would like to receive Emergency Alerts please register on this site. San Luis Valley 911 has moved to a new system called Everbridge and has moved away from Code Red system. Residents are encouraged to sign-up to receive notifications. Here’s the info:
Get alerted about emergencies and other important community news by signing up for our Emergency Alert Program. This system enables us to provide you with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods.
You will receive time-sensitive messages wherever you specify, such as your home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages and more. You pick where, you pick how.
Remember this is also a good thing to signup for if you have a relative or friend living in the valley that you want to be alerted about in case of an emergency. Sign up today!
Future Retail Marijuana Stores in Saguache Today?
No doubt it is the pending discussion for nearly every town in Colorado ever since marijuana became legalized in the state. And now, so it is with the Town of Saguache. There will be a work session on retail marijuana stores within the town limits tonight. The Town Board is asking for public input from the community at a special work session on Monday July 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Road and Bridge Meeting Room, 305 3rd Street. Town Board members may or may not participate in the discussion at the work session. There will be no formal decision made at this meeting.
The public is invited to come and share their opinion and information about this important subject.