Snow Storm Cools Mullen Fire, Still Burning; Little to No Growth Expected

Snow Storm Cools Mullen Fire, Still Burning; Little to No Growth Expected

Mullen Fire burned area photo taken October 26, 2020. Courtesy photo

ALBANY COUNTY — A strong winter storm brought snow and sub-zero temperatures to Southeast Wyoming Northwestern Colorado on Saturday and Sunday. On Friday Incident Meteorologist Dan Borsum predicted that this weekend’s snowfall on the Mullen Fire would most likely not melt until spring.

Because of extremely cold temperatures and icy roads, firefighters had their first opportunity to assess conditions inside the fireline on Monday. They observed snow depths of up to 12 inches on the fire area, and few smokes.

You might be wondering if the Mullen Fire is out. The short answer is that this blast of winter weather has been enough to cool down the fire, but not put it out. The fire was last reported to be 176,878 acres and 85 percent contained. Fire personnel is down to 161 firefighters and support staff.

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Clearing skies and a warming and drying trend is forecast for at least another week. Fire personnel will continue to patrol the fire and work on suppression repair over the next week or longer.  

Over the next week we expect little or no growth in the size of the fire. But some isolated areas inside the fire perimeter with smoldering heavy fuels are likely to produce smoke and occasional flare-ups. 

Southeast Wyoming and Northwestern Colorado have been in a prolonged severe to extreme drought this summer and fall. Consequently, larger fuels have been extremely dry for months. It will take sustained heavy snowfall this winter to completely extinguish all hot spots. 

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