PHOTOS: Gordon directs state resources to fight 77,950 acre Mullen Fire; FEMA funding available - Casper, WY Oil City News
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PHOTOS: Gordon directs state resources to fight 77,950 acre Mullen Fire; FEMA funding available

The Capitol Building in Cheyenne Wyoming surrounded by smoke from the Mullen Wildfire (John Roedel, Cap City News September 26th, 2020)

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has directed “numerous” state resources to help fight the Mullen Fire burning in southeast Wyoming and to support communities affected by the fire, Gordon’s office said on Monday, Sept. 28.

The fire had burned an estimated 77,950 acres as of Monday morning and is expected to spread in coming days. The fire is burning on the Medicine Bow National Forest and adjacent private lands.

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At 6:15 pm, September 24, Division Tango firefighters disengage and fall back to protect structures as high winds push the fire to the east. Credit: Josh Shroyer

The fire remains only 2% contained and has led to area closures and mandatory evacuations for a number of communities.

“I want to express my gratitude to the firefighters and support personnel who are battling to protect structures in the affected areas,” Gordon said in the release. “These folks have been working very hard in a well-coordinated effort under extremely difficult conditions.”

Gordon has been communicating regularly with members of the incident management team and the Wyoming State Forestry Division, the governor’s office said.

Mullen Fire Friday, 9/25/2020 (Courtesy Derek Higgins, Natrona County FIre District)

“The fire is being managed by the Rocky Mountain Area Blue Team, a Type 2 National Incident Management Team composed of federal and non-federal personnel that is experienced in managing the response efforts of large-scale national disasters,” the release states. “Currently there are 525 people assigned to the Mullen Fire.”

“Task forces of additional firefighters from multiple Wyoming fire departments provided support over the weekend as well. Commercial aviation resources being utilized include 2 super scoopers, 4 single-engine air tankers, and 9 helicopters. Two heavy tankers are also available.”

The Mullen Fire has created a thick haze in Cheyenne (John Roedel, Cap City News)

State agencies providing support in the response include: 

  • Wyoming Highway Patrol
  • Wyoming Department of Transportation
  • Wyoming Office of Homeland Security
  • Wyoming Department of Health
  • Wyoming State Forestry Division

“The Wyoming Army National Guard’s Laramie Armory is being utilized as an incident command post,” Gordon’s office adds. “Wyoming Game and Fish is allowing hunters with specific license types in the area of the Mullen Creek Fire to seek a carryover to 2021 or a refund due to limited access in the Snowy Range.”

“The state has also made Emergency Fire Suppression Account (EFSA) funding available to Albany and Carbon counties. These grants provide funds for the cost of suppression and mop-up of qualifying emergency wildland fires.”

Mullen Fire on Tuesday (Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland)

Wyoming has also received a Fire Management Assistance Grant declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Fire Management “to support fire suppression efforts taking place on private lands,” the release adds.

“The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for managing, mitigating and controlling designated fires,” Gordon’s office said.

(Photo posted to InciWeb)

Gordon’s office notes that teams working the fire are “well-equipped.”

“Donations can be directed to the American Red Cross of Wyoming, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation or local volunteer fire departments,” the release states.

Details about the fire, including information about evacuations and area closures are posted to the Mullen Fire Facebook page and on Inciweb.

Mullen Fire in Medicine bow National Forest Sept 17. 2020 (U.S. Forest Service via InciWeb)