Mullen Fire Still At 13K Acres, Highway Reopened

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Mullen Fire in Medicine Bow National Forest stayed inside its perimeter overnight Monday and remained at 13,504 acres as of Tuesday morning, according to firefighting officials.

A Type II management team took over command of the fire Tuesday morning to coordinate efforts of firefighters in Albany and Carbon counties and established a Facebook page where fire updates are being posted.

Although Wyoming Highway 130 between Centennial and Saratoga was reopened Tuesday, the fire’s containment was still estimated at only 2%.

An evacuation order for the Keystone area, including Keystone proper, lower Keystone, Langford/Ricker/ Moore’s Gulch and the 507C cabin group remained in order, as did a pre-evacuation order for the Centennial Valley, including the communities of Albany and Centennial.

The Type II management team that took over command on Tuesday will assess the damage done and call for appropriate resources to battle the fire, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Aaron Voos.

The teams usually consist of around 30 members, but can quickly grow to 50 or 100 people with additional resources, Voos said.

He added the group won’t be as large this year due to coronavirus restrictions, but its members will still likely be in the area for about two weeks.

“Basically, they come in to assess the damage and what’s going on and then bring in the appropriate resources to combat the fire,” he said.

A virtual community meeting is planned for sometime Tuesday evening, but no information about what time or where the public could access the meeting had been released as of 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The cause of the fire is still unknown as of Tuesday, but is under investigation.

“We’re looking for tips on what might have happened, especially firsthand knowledge,” Voos said. “We know the general area of where the fire started, but due to its complexity, we haven’t been able to get an investigator in there yet.”

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