By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The Mullen Fire in Medicine Bow National Forest has grown slightly in the last day, but is now at an 18% containment rate.
According to a Facebook post on the Mullen Fire Information page, the fire has now affected 173,747 acres as of late Thursday night.
John Wallace, operations manager of the fire management team, said in a Facebook livestream Friday morning that he and other officials decided they would no longer put people on the ground in the northern area of the fire, which has been an issue for crews in recent days.
“We’re just not making any progress with it,” Wallace said. “There’s a lot of dead and down trees, there’s a lot of heavy fuels, and we’re just not able to accomplish anything in there.”
Instead, crews will fall back to the A Bar A Ranch area and monitor the French Creek Canyon, which the fire has to encounter before it will cause any damage to people or structures.
Wallace added that the new 4% containment was in the western part in the fire
Friday’s planned activities include firing operations in the northeast part of the fire and structure preparation in Centennial, across the Highway 130 corridor and in the Ryan Park community.
Cooler temperatures and more moisture moving into the area over the weekend will moderate fire activity and allow firefighters to move in closer and work more directly on the fire’s edges.
Meteorologist Don Day said in his Friday morning weather forecast that a strong cold front would be moving in Saturday and Sunday and although it will limit precipitation, it will still be helpful regarding the fire.
“It’s really hard to get excited that this will produce much moisture, but it will produce some,” he said.
It will also be cool and breezy Monday, with Day adding that although the weekend cold front won’t quite bring fall weather, it will set long-term changes into motion that Wyomingites will see in the latter half of the month.