ALBANY COUNTY — Today will be a very active day for the Mullen Fire with weather conditions similar to yesterday. The fire, located in the Medicine Bow National Forest, grew to 19,526 acres on Thursday and remains two percent contained.
Firefighters expect to see significant growth to the east and northeast of the fire, and winds may affect air operations. Structure protection crews will work to defend homes and structures in the evacuated areas. Fire and county officials are coordinating efforts to ensure the public is aware of rapidly changing conditions. People should expect the forest area closure to expand today.
On Thursday there was significant activity all around the fire, pushed by strong southwest winds with gusts to 30 mph that continued well into the night.
Winds were very adverse on the fire’s north, southeast, and east flanks, and firefighters were unable to slow fire’s advance. On the east, the fire ran to the southern edge of Rob Roy Reservoir. The southern tip of the fire moved to the east, crossing the 512 Road and approaching the Keystone communities. As fire activity intensified, many firefighters moved to successfully defend structures in the Rambler community and the Keystone area.
For the safety of firefighters, Carbon Power and Light turned off electricity to the evacuated areas west of Albany, including the communities of Keystone, Lake Creek and the Rob Roy Reservoir area. Residents with questions can call Carbon Power and light at 307-326-5206 or 800-359-0249.
Fire activity is expected to remain high through Saturday, as winds continue to strengthen during the passage of a strong cold front.
Both ground and aerial firefighters are working diligently to protect property in these challenging conditions. But if weather and fire conditions become unsafe, they will move to locations where they have a greater chance of success.
A Red Flag warning is again in effect from noon until 8 pm and conditions will be warmer and drier today, Friday, September 25. Today is the first of several days of strong gusty winds associated with a strong cold front passing through the area this weekend. West and southwest winds will continue, with gusts up to 40 mph, and firefighters expect fire spread to continue. As winds increase, air operations may be affected.
There are currently 367 fire personnel on scene, and the estimated containment date has been slated for Friday, October 30th, 2020. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Stay up to date on Mullen Fire activity at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7208/.