Mallard and McDannald fires update

Special to the Herald

The Mallard and McDannald Fires are being managed by the Southern Area Red Incident Management Team in unified command with the Texas A&M Forest Service. Mike Dueitt (Red Team Incident Commander) joined Texas A&M Forest Service Incident Commander Rich Gray in unified command of the Mallard Fire on Saturday May 12 at 0700. The Mallard Fire started on Tuesday May 8. The fire is located on the JA Ranch and in Mulberry Canyon to the north. The fire is burning in rugged terrain with cedar, mesquite and grass for fuel.

Mallard Fire
Size: 74,464 acres
Containment: 20%
Location: Approximately 25 miles southeast of Amarillo 5-6 miles southeast of Claude, Texas in Armstrong County
Start Date: May 8, 2018
Cause: Unknown
Large helicopters: 4 Small helicopters: 2 Single-engine air tankers: 5
Engines: 45
Dozers: 6
Hand Crews: 3
Total Personnel: 340

Yesterday’s Activities:
The fire grew by approximately 4,000 acres between Saturday and Sunday. Dozers, engines and handcrews continued constructing control lines, reinforcing existing control lines and protecting structures. The northwest side of the fire made a small run out of Mulberry Canyon up onto the flats, but firefighters were successful in stopping it. Slightly more favorable weather conditions overnight Sunday helped firefighters prevent further fire spread. Personnel held all control lines adjacent to Highway 287 yesterday. Helicopters, large air tankers and single engine air tankers (SEATs) attacked the fire again on Sunday. Additional air and ground resources arrived on Sunday. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in effect over the fire area.

Today’s Activities:
Dozers, engines and hand crews will continue constructing control lines, reinforcing existing control lines and protecting structures. Helicopters, SEATs and air tankers will support firefighters on the ground. Firefighters are working to hold the fire south of Highway 2272, south of Highway 287, southwest of Salt Fork Red River and west of Highway 70. Low level fog over Highway 287 presented a hazardous driving condition at the northern edge of the fire this morning. Depending on weather conditions, this could persist for a number of days.

Resources Threatened:
Multiple communities, 4-lane Highway 287, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSR) Rail Road, and ranch structures. Some ranch structures are on a historic register.

As of Monday morning, Armstrong County Department of Emergency Management is reporting no evacuations.

Road Closures:
Farm Road (FM) 2272 and FM 2889 are open only to property owners and emergency responders at the request of Texas Department of Public Safety. This is to reduce general public traffic and for responder safety.

For Monday weather and fuel conditions will support very active fire behavior with partly cloudy, hot, dry and very unstable conditions. Afternoon temperatures will be 91-94 with an RH of 20-25%. Winds will be from the south and southwest at 10-14 mph with the potential for gusts. A higher chance of isolated afternoon thunderstorms are forecast today.

McDannald Fire
The fire showed very low fire activity on Sunday. Crews continued patrolling and mopping up along the fireline. Command of the fire will transition from the Southern Area Red Incident Management Team to local jurisdictions on Monday morning. This is final report on the McDannald Fire in this daily fire update.