From Tuesday into Wednesday, the Mullen Fire increased less than 10,000 acres in a 24-hour period for the first time in quite a while.
But it still expanded to a total of 161,151 acres in that time frame, as of a 7 p.m. Wednesday update on the U.S. Forest Service’s Incident Information website, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7208/. Containment stayed steady at 14%.
A midday update Wednesday reported the fire burning in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest about 40 miles west of Laramie “progressed slightly to the northeast and east since midday Tuesday.”
But it was enough to catch the attention of Southern Area Type 1 Blue Team, which took charge of management Monday morning of what is now 1,050 personnel and a fleet of aircraft and helicopters providing aerial support.
In addition, Albany County fire crews established and strengthened indirect fire lines to slow potential spread toward Centennial, and aerial resources dropped retardant along those fire lines to reinforce them, according to an update at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“In spite of the red flag warning in place for most of the day, significant structure protection activities in Albany and other communities and structure protection will continue to be a priority,” the update continued. “This includes moving brush and firewood, laying water hoses and installing sprinkler systems.”
The fire continues to actively burn through heavy dead and downed fuels in most all areas.
All prior firefighting activity in the interior of the fire perimeter continues, as it has for more than a week.
The weather on Wednesday was dry, with above-average temperatures, but the winds from the southwest — which created the fire push to the northeast — were lighter, with gusts to 20 miles per hour.
The weather forecast for Thursday calls for more of the same, with warm temperatures and humidity remaining low around 10%. The significant change could be winds expected to increase to 30 mph.
On the Wyoming side of the fire, mandatory evacuations are still in place for the communities of Rambler, Albany, Fox Park, Wold, Woods Landing, Graham and adjacent areas, Lower Keystone and Moore’s Gulch. Pre-evacuation orders are still in place for Meadow Plains Road south to Yankee Road; areas near Sheep Mountain to Lake Hattie Reservoir and north of Highway 230; and Centennial.
For current information on the multiple evacuations and pre-evacuations, visit the following websites:
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) website: https://www.larimer.org/emergency/emergency-information
Road status can also change quickly change in response to fire conditions. Colorado Highway 127 and Wyoming Highway 230 on the west side of the fire are now open. For the most current information on Wyoming and Colorado road closures, go online to https://www.wyoroad.info/pls/Browse/WRR.STATIC5?SelectedDistrict=1 and https://cotrip.org/travelAlerts.htm#?roadId=.
No estimate is available for reopening closed roads.
For more information
In addition to the Forest Service’s incident website, more information, links, messages, an interactive website and information for community question-and-answer daily livestreams are available via the official Forest Service Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest Twitter account, @FS_MBRTB, and on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/MullenFire/.
For information on Red Cross assistance, or for help, call 970-440-7499.
Other important emergency numbers related to the Mullen Fire are:
— Assistance with evacuations: Albany County Emergency Management Agency, 307-721-1815
— Assistance with boarding animals: Albany County Fairgrounds, 307-742-3224
— Questions related to structures and property possibly affected: Albany County Assessor’s Office, 307-721-2511
— Hunting questions: Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 307-745-4046
More information is also provided on the Albany County website in the “news and announcements” section located at the bottom of the main county webpage: http://www.co.albany.wy.us.