Firefighters on Saturday estimated the Mullen Fire in the Medicine Bow National Forest has grown to nearly 137 thousand acres based on an aerial infrared measurement made at 11 p.m. Friday.
The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team reported the fire is 6% contained as of Saturday morning, and because of a weak cold front that came through the area overnight, growth of the fire on Saturday was expected to slow.
“We had good humidity recovery last night and that humidity and moisture got into the fine fuels, the grasses, and it will slow the fire down a little bit and it will take longer for the fuels to dry out,” Rocky Mountain Incident Meteorologist Chip Redmond said on Saturday morning.
However, the forecasted weather is not favorable to firefighting, he said.
“Monday is starting to set off some some flags,” he said. “We’re going to see strong west, maybe slightly northwest winds with critically low humidity. So it could be a high fire weather day.”
“And that’s going to be the trend unfortunately for most of a week. The conditions are going to vary day by day, but overall warm, almost very warm. Above average temperatures very dry and breezy throughout the week,” he said.
He said there was a “glimmer of hope” as there could be a weather pattern change next weekend which could bring precipitation to the area.
As for protection of homes, cabins, and other buildings, the team said structure protection in Rambler, the Rob Roy area, Keystone, Lake Creek, Fox Park and Albany is established. New structure protection resources are focusing on communities to the west of Hwy 230 and south into Colorado.
“Yesterday we did have to do some firing around some structures in Foxborough with very positive results from that,” Incident Team spokesman Deon Steinle said. “We feel with we’ve got a really good buffer around those those Foxborough structures now and we’ll continue to have resources in there taking care of any hotspots and, and creeping fire that might be of concern.”
Fire crews are still working in evacuated areas to extinguish hot spots and remove hazards. For public and firefighter safety, evacuations will remain in effect until conditions change or risks are reduced, officials said.
“Fire crews are working along roads and accessible areas to reduce vegetation where they have the highest probability of success at limiting fire spread,” the team said.
Better overnight humidity recovery and cooler temperatures today will decrease fire activity a bit today until early afternoon. Northwest winds are expected in that timeframe. West winds Sunday will impact fire activity to the east.