State wildlife officials are taking steps to protect a "totally unique" family of endangered trout after the Hayden Pass Fire threatened to wipe out their existence.
Officials were worried last week when the fire reached an area of Hayden Creek known to hold the endangered trout.
The group of approximately 2,000 trout are related to the greenback cutthroat, but have unique DNA not seen in any other fish, Greg Policky, a fish biologist with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said.
Policky said they found a thriving group of the fish in a lower section of Hayden Creek last week and will be continuing ongoing efforts to keep the population going.
Some of the fish will be left where they were found. Others will be moved to different sections of the creek and a third group will be taken to an isolated hatchery to prevent any threat of extinction.
The Hayden Pass Fire started on June 19. It has burnt about 25 square miles so far and is 30 percent contained.