By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Although Monday was expected to be a big day when it came to combating the Mullen Fire in Medicine Bow National Forest, the fire is now back down to 0% containment, the U.S. Forest Service announced late Monday.
According to information posted to fire tracking website InciWeb, the fire has now affected 80,279 acres and containment was reduced after recent growth on the southwest edge of the fire.
A large and growing number of firefighters continue to “aggressively” defend homes in Foxborough and other communities in and near the fire footprint.
The crew size has also grown on Monday, with 738 people working to combat the fire.
Tuesday is expected to bring much warmer weather with “very dry air.” Critical fire weather is expected due to this and breezy northwest winds.
Wednesday and Thursday are predicted to be slightly cooler than Tuesday, as well as the remainder of the week. However, the weather will still be dry and humidities will be low.
The breezy northwest winds will continue throughout this period, which could cause the fire to again grow.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Chris Zoller, operations section chief for the Rocky Mountain Blue Team managing firefighting efforts, said air tankers and helicopters were able to make water and fire retardant dumps on the fire Monday.