Wildland fires ravaging parts of Texas Panhandle
The Mallard Fire that is burning in Armstrong County is now at 74,464 acres and is only 20% contained. The fire has been burning since May 8th and is located just southeast of Claude. The Summer Field Fire has merged with the Mallard Fire and their are multiple other fires as well. According to Texas A&M Forest Service and Incident Information System tall brush and brush are allowing the fire to run rapidly. The fire is burning in grass, brush, juniper and mesquite and is expected the maintain a probability of ignition of 80%.
More than 400 fire personnel are now fighting the fires. A San Antonio Fire Department Team from Station #53 is there already helping. Dozers, engines and hand crews will continue constructing control lines, reinforcing existing control lines and protecting structures.
One of the biggest factors in Wildfire behavior is the weather. And when you're talking about very large fires like this one firefighters are basically at the mercy of the weather. During the evenings and overnight the relative humidity tends to climb. This is normally when the firefighters will try to dig more line and do as much structure protection as possible. Also water and fire retardant are used to try to slow the fires growth.
The forecast for the next couple of days may help a bit because the winds should lighten up a bit and there is a better chance of some afternoon wetting showers and thunderstorms. This is turn will help increase the relative humidity from the middle teens into the middle to upper 20 percent range.