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Mullen Fire Doubles In Size; Now Nearly 14,000 Acres Affected

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UPDATE: From the Sunday evening Incident Overview.

Aerial resources were successful is checking fire growth to the east & southeast, keeping it from entering the Rambler area.

Ground & aerial operations were successful in securing 2% containment near the fire’s heel on the west side

Fire growth was not as intense as expected, with mainly interior burning & some expansion around the middle of the burn. The fire has slowed after coming out of wilderness.

Updated fire size & perimeter will be available Monday. More precise heat perimeter mapping is expected to refine fire location & size.


The Mullen Fire in the Medicine Bow National Forest almost doubled in size in less than a day and is now affecting 13,835 acres.

In its Incident Overview released on Sunday morning, the U.S. Forest Service said the fire, which was estimated to have affected 7,000 acres on Saturday evening, had grown to the northeast, north, and south, but ground crews and helicopters were successful at stopping growth to the west.

“It appears the fire has not yet reached Rob Roy Reservoir, but is very close,” the agency reported.

Aerial resources, the agency said, continued to drop fire retardant in the Rambler area.

Despite the growth of the fire, there was some good news. Rain showers were reported on parts of the fire Saturday night and the weather forecast called for cooler weather Sunday. But strong and gusty winds were still expected.

As reported yesterday, the fire has crossed the Savage Run Wilderness boundary on the south flank and the fire is now established in the Platte River Wilderness.

Late yesterday, the Forest Service expanded the closure area. “Please help us spread the word, as this fire is quickly evolving,” the agency tweeted.

Smoke from the fire will affect southeast Wyoming, parts of Colorado, and Nebraska. The National Weather Service released a simulated smoke dispersal model which highlights the impact of the smoke.

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91 New Coronavirus Cases in Wyoming on Sunday; 711 Active

in Coronavirus/News

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Editor’s Note: This is a map of the active coronavirus cases in each county across Wyoming. The number of active cases is determined by subtracting the total number of recoveries seen since the illness first reached Wyoming in mid-March from the total number of confirmed and probable cases diagnosed during the same time period and taking into account deaths related to the disease.

The number of people sick with the coronavirus topped 700 for the first time Sunday as the Wyoming Department of Health reported 91 new cases around the state.

The department, in its daily coronavirus update, said 85 new laboratory-confirmed and six new probable cases boosted the number of active cases in the state to 711, an increase of 72 over Saturday’s figures.

Albany county had 150 active cases; Natrona County had 105; Sheridan had 59; Laramie had 56; Fremont had 54; Converse had 41; Teton had 33; Campbell had 31; Lincoln, Park and Uinta had 25; Carbon had 23; Sublette had 18; Crook had 17; Goshen had 16; Platte had 10; Hot Springs had eight; Sweetwater had six; Washakie had five; Johnson had two, and Big Horn and Weston had one.

According to Department of Health figures, active cases were found in 590 patients with laboratory-confirmed coronavirus and 121 probable cases.

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The department said 16 counties reported 85 new laboratory-confirmed cases Sunday, with Albany County reporting the most at 29. Other counties with new confirmed cases were Campbell, Carbon, Converse, Fremont, Goshen, Johnson, Laramie, Lincoln, Natrona, Platte, Sheridan, Sublette, Sweetwater, Teton and Uinta.

The increase brought the total number of confirmed cases seen since the illness was first detected in Wyoming in mid-March to 4,124.

The number of patients with probable cases, those where patients have coronavirus symptoms and have been in contact with people with a confirmed case but have not been tested for the illness, went up by six on Sunday to total 747 since the pandemic began.

Of the 4,871 people diagnosed with either confirmed or probable cases since mid-March, 4,111 people have recovered, the department said, an increase of 19 from Saturday.

The recoveries have been seen among 3,485 people with laboratory-confirmed cases and 626 people with probable cases.

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Mullen Fire Grows to 7,000+ Acres; Firefighting Resources Pulled For Safety

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The Mullen Fire in Wyoming’s Medicine Bow National Forest continues to grow and continues to get more dangerous.

At 8 p.m. on Saturday, the U.S. Forest Service reported that resources fighting the fire had to be pulled back due to strong and shifting winds.

Aerial resources, they said, were also pulled because of the erratic winds and the poor visibility.

“There is intense fire activity on multiple flanks,” the Forest Service said in its 8 p.m. incident report. “The possibility for extreme fire behavior exists through the weekend.

According to the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center, 7,365 acres are affected by the fire but the Forest Service said “it is likely much larger.”

Earlier in the evening, Gov. Mark Gordon indicated a higher number as well.

“The Mullen Fire on the Medicine Bow National Forest is now estimated at 7,500 acres and is one mile from 25 summer cabins near Rob Roy Reservoir. Keep our fire crews and these homeowners in your thoughts,” Gordon tweeted.

The Forest Service reported that the Rambler and Rob Roy areas had been evacuated as of Saturday night. The Keystone area is under pre-evacuation notice. This includes Keystone proper, lower Keystone, Langford/Ricker, Moore’s Gulch, and 507C cabin grouping.

The communique also reported:

– The fire has crossed the Savage Run Wilderness boundary on the south flank, as well as the 512 Rd

– Fire is now established in the Platte River Wilderness

– On the east side, the fire has crossed the Savage Run Wilderness boundary over the 511 Rd, near Forest Road 562

Earlier Saturday evening, the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities said the fire could have an impact at some point on Cheyenne’s water but “Cheyenne’s drinking water remains safe.”

“The location of the fire is by our main drinking water reservoir, Rob Roy. We do not know the impact of the Mullen Fire at this time, but the location suggests there may be some adverse effects to the City of Cheyenne’s water collection system and water quality.”

As for the immediate future, the Forest Service warned of future closures.

“This is a major fire, folks. Larger area closure coming for Medicine Bow,” the agency tweeted.

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Gordon Supports Letting Cowboys Play Football This Year

in News/University of Wyoming

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Gov. Mark Gordon supports the reopening of the University of Wyoming football program for a limited season if it can be handled safely, he said.

Gordon, in a Facebook post and tweet, said he has spoken with the governors of other Mountain West Conference states to examine the possibility of resuming football play this year.

“I’ve had good conversations with Gov. (Brad) Little of Idaho and Gov. (Gary) Herbert of Utah about our shared desire for a safe return of Mountain West Conference football,” Gordon said. “UW Athletics is working diligently on this issue and I believe progress is being made.”

The presidents of the 12 universities that make up the Mountain West Conference agreed in August to cancel fall sports because of concerns over the coronavirus.

However, MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson, in a statement Wednesday, said a number of groups are working to find solutions to the challenges of starting the football season this fall.

Those challenges include finalizing plans for frequent rapid response testing of student athletes. 

Michael Pearlman, a spokesman for Gordon, said the governor supports the idea of having players return to the field this year.

“If it can be achieved safely through the availability of frequent, rapid response testing,” Pearlman said in an email.

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Man Follows Park Service Advice & Helps Friend Attacked By Grizzly Rather Than Pushing Him Down

in Grizzly Bear Attacks/News

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Just last month the National Park Service advised people not to push their friends down in front of a bear if they are attacked.

That advice apparently works.

Two archery hunters from Idaho came upon a grizzly bear on Friday morning and one started to get mauled.

Instead of ensuring his friend was down on the ground and then running away, his friend decided — just like the Park Service advised — to help instead.

What makes this story even more bizarre is that this bear attack appears not to have been started by idiotic behavior of humans.

Unlike the Montana man who went searching for a grizzly bear in an abandoned barn (he found it) or the Montana woman who wasn’t paying attention while trail running and literally bounced off a grizzly, these two hunters appeared not to have done anything overwhelmingly stupid.

In fact, the Idaho Fish and Game Department credits the archery hunters for how they handled the situation: they were prepared.

The department said the victim (hunter #1) was pursuing an elk in a remote area of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest when he and his hunting companion (hunter #2) encountered the bear in thick brush.

Although you are supposed to be loud in grizzly country to not surprise a bear (Montana man: please take note), it kind of defeats the purpose when you are hunting — because you also alert the animal you’re hunting.

Regardless, the grizzly apparently went after hunter #1 who was able to deploy his bear spray right before he got knocked to the ground.

Following National Park Service advice of not pushing your friend down in front of the bear and running away, hunter #2 actually helped his buddy.

“The hunting companion came to his aid and deployed his own bear spray canister, shortening the duration of the attack and causing the bear to flee the area,” the department said.

“Their preparedness and use of bear spray allowed both hunters to walk out of the backcountry on their own accord to call for help,” they said.

As for the health of the hunter, he’ll be ok, apparently. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

To warn other visitors of bear in the bear country, the department is putting up signs to let them know there are bears present in the bear country.

Hopefully the signs will alert people who are in bear country that there are bears in the bear area.

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Wyoming State Bar Introduces New Governing Members

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Cheyenne attorney has been named president of the Wyoming State Bar for the coming year.

Billie L.M. Addleman, managing partner at the Hirst Applegate Law Firm, earned his law degree from the Univesity of Wyoming College of Law and has practiced at Hirst Applegate since 2004.

Addleman’s primary focus is in civil litigation, including professional liability, commercial litigation, real estate litigation and professional licensing. He also serves on the UW College of Law advisory committee and the Laramie County Community College paralegal advisory committee.

Addleman was one of a number of attorneys elected to fill officers’ positions in the Bar, according to news releases from the organization.

Laramie attorney Benjamin Rose was elected to serve as the chair of the Young Lawyers section, for which he will serve one year. He is focused on development for the University of Wyoming College of Law.

P. Craig Silva, a Casper attorney, has been elected commissioner of the bar to represent the Seventh Judicial District, which consists of Natrona County. He will serve a three-year term.

Basin attorney Jennifer L. Kirk has also been elected commissioner of the bar, representing the Fifth Judicial District, consisting of Big Horn, Hot Springs, Park and Washakie counties. She will serve a three-year term.

Kirk is a Basin native and earned her law degree in 2014. She has spent the last year working as a deputy county and prosecuting attorney for Big Horn County.

Finally, Sheridan attorney Kevin K. Kessner was elected commissioner to serve the Fourth Judicial District, consisting of Buffalo and Sheridan counties. He will also serve a three-year term.

Elected vice president was R. Scott Kath from Powell, who earned his degree from the UW College of Law in 1983 and is a partner with the Copenhaver Law Office.

J. Kenneth Barbe of Casper is now the Wyoming State Bar president-elect. He’s been a resident of Wyoming since 1975 and obtained his degree from the UW College of Law in 1983. He will serve as president when Addleman’s term is complete.

Barbe is a member of the firm of Welborn, Sullivan, Meck & Tooley P.C. in Casper.

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Fire Burning At Medicine Bow National Forest

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A fire in the Medicine Bow National Forest in southeastern Wyoming first reported Thursday grew to more than 200 acres Friday morning, officials said.

U.S. Forest Service officials, on the agency’s “Inciweb” fire-tracking website urged those visiting the forest’s Savage Run Wilderness area to leave because of the threat posed by the fire.

The fire, known as the Mullen Fire, was reported midday Thursday, but the cause had not been determined as of late Friday morning.

The fire origin started in the Savage Run Wilderness area in the forest in Carbon County.

There is a possibility for extreme fire behavior through the weekend and a high probability for fire growth to the north and east, up the Mullen Creek drainages, as well as the Savage Run Creek drainage, the Forest Service said.

Ground crews are focusing on protecting the area near the A Bar A Ranch to the west and private property to the east. The Rambler and Rob Roy areas have been evacuated.

Two helicopters are currently working the fire edges. Forest Service staff, the Wyoming Game and Fish officials and Albany/Carbon Counties staff are helping people get away from the fire area.

The fire is in extremely rugged terrain with live blowdowns and beetle-killed deadfall trees.

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Explore Carbon County: Fishing

in Carbon County/News/Tourism

If you’re looking for picturesque mountain views and incredible fishing Carbon County Wyoming is your destination.

Places to fish in Carbon County include the North Platte River, Encampment River, The Little Snake River, alpine lakes, Seminoe Reservoir, Saratoga Lake and more.

Rainbow, Brown and Cutthroat trout are numerous in our pristine rivers.

Walleye can be found in Seminoe Lake and lower elevation lakes and make great for great eating.

Carbon County has numerous fishing guides with the experience to ensure a successful fishing expedition.

If you are planning on fishing via power boat Hog Park Reservoir (25 miles south of Encampment in the Sierra Madre Range), Seminoe Reservoir (a short drive north of Rawlins, Hanna and Medicine Bow), Saratoga Lake (5 miles north of Saratoga) or the High Savery Reservoir located just off County Road 401 between Rawlins (Hwy 71 south from Rawlins turns into County Road 401) and Savery are all great fishing destinations with plenty of room to explore.

Click here for a list of great fishing locations in Carbon County!

Explore Carbon County: Where to Stay

in Carbon County/News/Tourism

Carbon County has resorts, guest ranches, B & B’s, hotels, cabins, cottages, vacation rentals, lodges, RV camping and more! 

Whatever your style we can help you find your perfect lodging type.

Click here to find your lodging match.

Explore Carbon County: Snowmobiling

in Carbon County/News/Tourism

Explore over 500 miles of groomed and ungroomed trails with terrain to please users with skill levels ranging from novice to the expert.

See below to find tips on the best places to experience snowmobiling in Carbon County, Wyoming.

Carbon County Wyoming has some of the best snowmobiling offerings anywhere.

Explore over 500 miles of groomed and ungroomed trails with terrain to please users with skill levels ranging from the novice to the expert. 

Snowmobiling occurs in primarily three recreational areas, each offering excellent trails and conditions.

Click here to see information on snowmobiling areas, snowmobile guides, rentals, and trails.

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