Carbon Power & Light, Tri-State, WREA team up to support fire departments
- Through $30,000 Tri-State donation, cooperatives join to support six fire departments who battled the Mullen Fire.
- Fire consumed 176,878 acres in southeast Wyoming; strained local resources.
December 18, 2020, Saratoga, Wyoming – Carbon Power & Light, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and the Wyoming Rural Electric Association announced today an effort to support six local fire departments who helped battle the Mullen Fire in southeast Wyoming, with a $30,000 donation from Tri-State. The money was split equally between the six fire departments, with each department receiving $5,000.
“We live by and work according to our cooperative principles, which include cooperation, and concern for the community. These fire departments helped battle one of the most devastating fires in our state history, and this is our way of showing our appreciation for their selfless efforts on our behalf,” said Russell Waldner, General Manager for Carbon Power & Light.
“Tri-State is honored to be a part of this effort recognizing these local fire departments. One of the core values in times of need is support for our communities, and this is our way of showing appreciation for those who dedicated themselves time and again to combatting this fire,” said Duane Highley, Tri-State CEO.
The Mullen fire, which began on Sept. 17, consumed 176,878 acres, much of it in the Medicine Bow National Forest southwest of Centennial, Wyoming, including parts of Albany and Carbon counties in Wyoming, and Jackson County in Colorado. Wind speeds at the height of the fire reached some 70 miles per hour. The fire lasted nearly two months, before containment in mid-November. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Today three fire departments were recognized, each with a $5,000 donation: Town of Encampment Fire Department, Encampment, Wyoming; Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department, Saratoga, Wyoming; and Ryan Park Volunteer Fire Department, Saratoga, Wyoming.
On Thursday the rural electric cooperatives receiving $5,000 donations were: Rock River Fire Department in Rock River, Wyoming; Centennial Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Centennial, Wyoming; and Big Laramie Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Laramie, Wyoming.
Volunteer firefighters worked countless hours fighting forest fires. Centennial Valley Volunteer Assistant Fire Chief Michael Olsen said that 19 firefighters in his department worked a cumulative total of 622 days fighting 10 fires this summer.
The fire departments plan to use the donations for equipment maintenance and PPE.
“If you name it, volunteer firefighters need it,” said Ryan Park Fire Chief Homer Beach.
In addition to straining firefighter’s resources, the Mullen Fire destroyed significant Carbon Power & Light equipment, including 37 poles and three transformers. The cooperative disconnected services to areas affected by the fire starting Sept. 24, but restored that service to all areas by Oct. 16.
Those interested can view a video on the Mullen Fire and its impacts on Carbon Power and Light at: https://www.facebook.com/CarbonPowerLight/videos/776787479846215 .
# # #