The Mullen Fire in Medicine Bow National Forest is now at 14% containment level and has grown to 151,700 acres, officials announced on Monday morning.
Monday will be a “red flag” day, where fire conditions are considered extreme, since humidity levels are low and winds will blow from the west direction, but will adjust to the northwest later in the day. Wind gusts could be up to 35 mph throughout the day with active burning throughout.
In a Monday morning update posted to Facebook, Deon Steinley, a Rocky Mountain Incident Management team member, noted that the Mountain Home area in Albany County has been a major focus for firefighting teams.
“There’s a particular division in the southern portion that has been a really critical area for us,” he said. “We’ve got the Mountain Home community down here that we’ve got resources to protect and suppress the fire.”
He added that crews have been working to add burn lines to help stop the fire or keep it at bay as much as possible.
Smoke production will also be high on Monday and will spread to the east.
The smoke will be persistent in the North Platte and Laramie River valleys on Monday morning, but the winds will transport it to northeast Colorado later in the morning, according to a release posted to the Mullen Fire Information Facebook page.
Smoke will return to the area late Monday night and will affect the air quality on Tuesday as well.
Critical fire weather conditions are possible again Tuesday and warm and dry conditions are expected through the week. Gusty winds are predicted for Tuesday and Thursday.
On Sunday, firefighters conducted successful intentional burn operations in several locations around the perimeter of the fire to widen existing firelines, but structure protection remains a priority throughout the fire area.
Just over 1,100 personnel were working to combat the fire as of Monday morning.