Fire crews continue to work on containing the Hayden Pass Fire

The Hayden Pass Fire Monday afternoon. / Mike Duran - FOX21 News
The Hayden Pass Fire Monday afternoon. / Mike Duran - FOX21 News

FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. — The Hayden Pass Fire is now the number one priority fire in the United States.

New mandatory evacuations are being added for people in the area. County Road 35 and the Eagle Peak Subdivision are being added to the evacuations already in place for County Road 4 and 6 and the Fox Creek Subdivision.

Fire crews are letting the fire burn in the areas away from structures, where there is 80 to 90 percent beetle kills in the trees.

Because of the lower temperatures and less wind, the fire will not burn as much, but all-day crews are throwing everything they’ve got at this fire.

On Wednesday, a large tanker dropped flame retardant on certain parts of the fire in three separate passes. Wherever the retardant hits, the fire will go right out.

The goal is to connect the dots of where crews are already working so that they can start to box in the fire and start containing it.

Meanwhile, all evacuees can do is sit back and watch.

“First I thought it was going to be a couple of days, now it’s looking like it might be maybe a week, maybe longer, lots of uncertainty in the way the window blows,” said Sam Hiner. “[The] fire could jump north, south, east, or west. [It’s] very unpredictable.”

As everyone here keeps a close watch on the wind, one evacuee says she is bracing for the worst.

“My husband’s grandparents built that home by hand generations ago so it’s something that can never be replaced either,” said Vicky Jones.

Fire crews are working to protect all of the homes in immediate danger by clearing away all the fire tinder from around homes and by installing portable sprinklers.

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