Mallard Fire Update

Tuesday, May 16, 2018

The Mallard Fire is being managed by the Southern Area Red Incident Management Team (SAIMT) in unified command with the Texas A&M Forest Service. SAIMT Incident Commander Mike Dueitt joined Texas A&M Forest Service Incident Commander Rich Gray in unified command of the Mallard Fire on Saturday, May 12 at 7 a.m. 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 vegetation.

Size: 75,425 acres
Containment: 23%
Location: Approximately 25 miles southeast of Amarillo, Texas, and 5–6 miles southeast of Claude in Armstrong County and Donley Counties
Start Date: May 8, 2018
Cause: Lightning
Structures Destroyed: 1
Large helicopters: 3   Small helicopters: 2   Single-engine air tankers: 5
Engines: 55
Dozers: 7
Hand Crews: 9
Total Personnel: 526 representing 31 states, the District of Columbia, and Mexico

Yesterday’s Activities:
A few active areas of the fire tested fire control lines, particularly on the east side of the fire near the Armstrong and Donley County line. Firefighters successfully stopped the fire’s spread, so growth was minimal. Dozers and hand crews constructed and reinforced control lines in three main areas: the northwest corner in the Mulberry Creek drainage, the east side southeast of Goodnight, and the southeast side west of Mitchell Peak. Aircraft supported ground personnel with water and retardant drops in areas where the fire threatened control lines. Additional fire engines and bulldozers arrived on Tuesday.

Today’s Activities:
Firefighters will patrol and mop-up on the north side of the fire south of Goodnight and Highway 287 and along the southwest fire perimeter in Palo Duro Canyon. The fire is expected to be most active along the east side, from Highway 287 south to Palo Duro Canyon, and on the northwest corner in the Mulberry Creek drainage. Helicopters and air tankers are available if needed.

Tuesday evening thunderstorms brought some rain to the area. However, most of the fire did not receive any measurable precipitation. The vegetation remains very dry and susceptible to burning. Today, warmer and drier conditions, which could support more active fire behavior, will return. Winds will be from the southeast to south at 5-10 mph. Maximum temperatures will be 84-88. Relative humidity will be 25-35%. The warming and drying trend is expected to persist through the weekend.

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

Evacuations & Road Closures:
No closures or evacuations are in effect.

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