MEDICINE BOW NATIONAL FOREST — The Mullen Fire reached 34% containment this week, and its spread has slowed. The fire had no new growth on Thursday, and only grew 15 acres on Friday, as of press time, bringing it to a total of 176,386 acres.
Rain, snow showers, and blizzard-like conditions at higher elevations kept fire activity to a minimum this week. Much of the intense heat had gone out of the interior of the fire by Thursday, according to an update on the fire's InciWeb page. The heat that remains is scattered, and firefighters began working on Thursday to knock out this scattered heat.
As of Friday, firefighters continued to patrol, monitor, and mop up hotspots. Air operations planned to drop retardant on hotspots near Albany as weather permits, and contingency lines continued to be constructed near Centennial.
Friday also saw a reduction in the number of firefighters and support staff working on the Mullen Fire, dropping from 1,147 to 979 as less personnel were needed.
A Burned Area Emergency Response Team has begun field assessments of damage to natural and cultural resources. The team includes specialists in soils, hydrology, vegetation, engineering, recreation and archaeology. The team is working to assess post-fire hazards within and downstream of the Mullen Fire burned area.
As of Friday, Highway 230 from Woods Landing to the Colorado State line was opened to all traffic, and communities along Highway 230 were changed from mandatory evacuation to pre-evacuation status. All other evacuation areas remained the same.
More information and updates on the Mullen Fire can be found at the Mullen Fire Information Facebook page or the fire’s InciWeb page at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7208.