DENVER: Even though low temperatures produced snow Sunday in Colorado’s high mountains — an early reminder that winter is coming — wildfires continued to rage throughout the region.
Fire officials announced Monday night that the Mullen Creek Fire, which crossed the northern Colorado border from the Medicine Bow Mountains in southern Wyoming two weeks ago, had scorched 176,047 acres (712.4 square km) since it started on Sept. 17.
The wildfire is already larger than the Pine Gulch Fire earlier this summer in western Colorado near the Utah border, the largest wildfire in Colorado history.
The Pine Gulch Fire consumed 139,007 acres.
As of Monday, the Mullen Creek blaze was only 27 percent contained, officials said, and unless more precipitation occurs soon, it may not be contained until Oct. 30.
Located in a remote, mostly forested area on the high-elevation Wyoming-Colorado border, the Mullen Creek Fire is destroying forest land 50 km south of Laramie, a city with 30,000 residents, and is only 40 km from another 2020 inferno, the Cameron Peak Fire. Since the fire crossed into northern Colorado, it is “creating a more complex fire with additional challenges,” said the InciWeb, a national incident information system run by the federal government.
According to InciWeb, the Mullen Creek Fire has destroyed 65 structures and forced 1,440 evacuations so far.
There are currently 1,079 firefighters assigned to battle flames.