By Matt Kroschel

SALIDA, Colo. (CBS4) – Fire officials overseeing the battle against the Hayden Pass Fire will hold a community meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Cotopaxi High School.

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As fire continues to chew through dry brush and dead trees especially on the eastern flank of the fire, hundreds of campers at the Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp have been evacuated in Custer County to Westcliff as a precaution.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

A total of 247 firefighters are now assigned to battle this blaze that was sparked by lightning Friday but didn’t begin to spread until Sunday afternoon. By Sunday evening the fire was listed at more than 5,000 acres. It doubled in size Monday, forcing more than 100 homes to be evacuated. Now more than 12,000 acres are charred.

“It burned and burned and got worse and the winds picked up yesterday and we evacuated last night at 6 p.m.,” homeowner Peggy Corhots told CBS4 on Tuesday.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Vital Highway 50 near the fire has remarkable remained open thus far but drivers are warned of the low visibility inside the fire zone due to the heavy smoke.

More evacuations are possible Wednesday as weather conditions again are not looking good for fire crews.

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Fire officials from a Type 2 incident command post set up at Salida High School and are directing six helicopters. Colorado National Guard helicopters are also expected to join in that aerial assault Wednesday, according to fire commanders.

“The fire crews have been tremendous. They’ve been around the house looking at mitigation and they were very pleased to see what I had done with the landscaping,” said Corhots. “They had a plan of attack to save the house if it came to that.”

Wildfire Resources

– Visit’s Living With Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

– See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

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Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.