Wind Complicates Efforts to Fight Wyoming Wildfire

Mullen Fire has burned at least 21 square miles

 

Mullen Fire in September 21, 2020. (InciWeb photo)

 

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Gusty winds complicated firefighters’ efforts Monday to get ahead of a wildfire burning toward cabins and an important water supply reservoir in southeastern Wyoming.

The fire in Medicine Bow National Forest had burned at least 21 square miles (56 square kilometers) of heavily forested, rugged terrain, according to the U.S. government’s InciWeb fire information website.

InciWeb: Mullen Fire Updates

Winds gusted up to 17 mph (27 kilometers per hour) as flames spread within a couple miles (3.2 kilometers) of Rob Roy Reservoir. The reservoir is among a handful linked by pipelines that supply water to Cheyenne.

The fire also was spreading toward Keystone, an enclave of cabins on private holdings surrounded by national forest lands. Firefighters flew over the forest Monday to get a fresh look at how much and where the fire had burned.

A U.S. Forest Service aerial photo taken Monday showed part of the Savage Run Wilderness burned through to bare ground, which can be a sign of intense fire behavior.

Forest officials ordered the evacuation of some 300 square miles (780 square kilometers) of forest. The area usually would be busy with elk and deer hunters this time of year.

First reported in the Savage Run Wilderness on Thursday, the fire had spread eastward into the North Platte Wilderness and other parts of the forest.

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