The Hayden Pass Fire burning near Coaldale in Fremont County doubled in size Monday, mostly to the east, and is now burning more than 12,000 acres. Fire officials say they expect the fire to continue moving towards Coaldale, reaching the town in 12-24 hours. Officials warn that Highway 50 may be closed Tuesday, depending on fire conditions.
Fire officials say they're expecting less humidity but lower winds Tuesday, resulting in another difficult day for firefighting. The wind is expected to shift away from Salida, diverting smoke into the valley, according to fire officials.
Fire officials called Monday a "really good day" in regards to management of the fire and structure protection. The fire is zero percent contained due to rough terrain in the area. Lines have not yet been built around the fire and crews' main focus is structure protection. Fire officials say air drops have been made to protect Cutty's Resort from the blaze.
About 109 homes have been evacuated, but no structures have been lost. Evacuation areas include south of County Road 6, within a three-mile radius of County Road 6 and County Road 45, and County Road 40, including the Fox Creek Subdivision.
Around 80 animals have been evacuated. Fremont County Sheriff's Office said on their Facebook page that they do not need volunteers for animal evacuations, and that they will request help if they do. Call 784-3411 for information on volunteering.
The fire department in Howard is an evacuation shelter, and Chaffee County Fairgrounds in Salida is taking in animals.
Fremont County Sheriff's Office also said water donations are not needed, as they received numerous pallets of water Monday.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.