Over a thousand personnel now battle Mullen Fire

Credit: Chip Redmond Photo courtesy of InciWeb

The Mullen Fire is now at 127,503 acres large as 1,057 fire personnel battle the blaze. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Mullen firefighters are utilizing a swing shift. This involves scheduling firefighters to come in late morning to bolster the day resources and work later into the night. InciWeb reports this strategy maximizes the number of people working at the typical peak burning time in the afternoon. The strategy also leaves personnel on the line during the evening hours when humidity is higher and it is possible to work closer to the perimeter. Tonight, the fire will have 24-hour coverage with the addition of a night shift. Incident managers have also organized the structure group so it can mobilize as needed to locations on the fire, rather than being assigned to one location or division.

According to InciWeb, late in the day yesterday, the fire spotted three miles in front of the fire but was quickly contained by crews on the ground with assistance from the Single Engine Air Tankers using retardant. 

Overnight crews were able to implement planned firing operations in several critical locations. The firing operation on the southern end of the fire along CO 127 from the WY state line south to the junction with CO 125 will continue today. The objective of this operation is to remove vegetation from in front of the fire to slow or limit fire spread. Firing operations south of Albany followed the 542 Road and pipeline and should be complete in the next few days if conditions allow. This protects communities on the north end in the event of a wind shift from the southwest. 

Structure protection activities in Foxborough, Fox Park and communities south to the Colorado border are ongoing. Extinguishing hotspots around structures continues among many evacuated communities and firefighters continue to find pockets of fire, making it unsafe to lift current evacuations. Fire managers evaluate fire conditions daily; lifting evacuations will occur when firefighters can ensure public safety.

InciWeb reports that current road closures remain in place for both public and firefighter safety. Though these closures present an inconvenience to both travelers and property owners, they are crucial to accountability and safety of everyone who may be in the area.

Fire Conditions and Weather

A Red Flag Warning is expected for today due to poor overnight humidity recovery, which contributed to active overnight fire activity. Today, northwest winds from 25-30 miles per hour are expected. A cold front is expected to pass through the fire area tonight. West winds are expected over the weekend.

Mandatory Evacuations 

Multiple evacuations and pre-evacuations are in place. For current lists, see:

Albany County Sheriff Office (WY) Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Albany-County-Sheriffs-Office-618424944997540

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (CO) Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JacksonCountySheriffOffice 

Larimer County (CO): https://nocoalert.org/ 

Road and Forest Closures

Road status can change quickly in response to fire conditions. For the most current information on Wyoming and Colorado road closures, please see https://www.wyoroad.info/pls/Browse/WRR.STATIC5?SelectedDistrict=1 and https://cotrip.org/travelAlerts.htm#?roadId=   

No estimate is available about reopening these roads.

A Forest area closure is in effect surrounding the Mullen Fire for public safety. See the new Forest Closure Orders for Medicine-Bow Routt NF https://tinyurl.com/y4gb8bqs and Arapaho and Roosevelt NF  https://tinyurl.com/y2e3qn3y.

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions in Effect for the Fire Area

Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd786902.pdf  

Albany County, WY: https://www.co.albany.wy.us/247/Fire-Restrictions
Temporary Flight Restriction is in effect for the Mullen Fire, issued October 1: https://tinyurl.com/yyjqff4o

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