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Hayden Pass Fire could lead to positive changes - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Hayden Pass Fire could lead to positive changes

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FREMONT COUNTY -


The Hayden Pass Fire is at 45% containment, but firefighters said its really more like 80%.

That's because there are no structures to the south so they're ok with letting it burn, in fact they actually want it to keep burning.

You've probably heard the phrase fighting fire with fire.  When it comes to wildfires, that's true while they're burning and years after they're out.

The Duckett Fire in 2011 proved just that.

"When the Hayden Pass Fire hit the Duckett Fire, the fire intensity went down dramatically and almost went out.  It shows what these past fires can do to when new fires come at them," said forestry technician Jeff Outhier.

Not only can the Hayden Pass Fire protect the area from future fires, it will change the way the forest looks and in some cases could make it even better.

"After the Duckett Fire, it opened this area up to sun light.  When the sun light hit the floor it opened it up to grasses and fores and shrubs just sitting there waiting for their opportunity," said Outhier.

And with that new growth, could come a lot more color, because instead of pine trees, it will be aspen and in some part, flowers.

"You'll have green leaves in the summer, then a change in the fall to different colors with golds and reds that come through," said Jim Pitts with the U.S. Forest Service.

"We're always looking up at the trees and up at the sky line.  I say lets look down.  Look at how many grass species we have and how many wild flowers will occur," said Outhier.

But how long is it going to take?

The Forest Service said it won't be as long you think.

"Hayden Pass will actually see some of the aspen shoots coming up this fall after the rains," said Pitts.

That's good news for community members who live there largely because of the view.

To help get things moving, firefighters have already started replanting in areas they destroyed to help fight the fire and a special rehab team will be coming in when the fire is close to out.

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