National Weather Service

Texas Panhandle Mallard Wildfire Burns More Than 74,000 Acres

Firefighters in the Texas Panhandle are working to contain a wildfire that's blackened more than 74,000 acres.

The Texas A&M Forest Service reports nearly 300 firefighters are battling the Mallard fire that began last week east of Wayside, about 40 miles southeast of Amarillo and not far from Palo Duro Canyon.

The fire Monday afternoon was about 20 percent contained.

Temperatures in the 90s and gusty winds helped spread up to 15-foot flames through dry tall grass, brush, mesquite and juniper in rough terrain Sunday.

The fire was moving north and northeast. Armstrong County officials are reporting no immediate evacuations.

On Friday, the National Weather Service in Amarillo reported a smoke cloud from the wildfire created its own thunderstorm with 1-inch hail.

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group said with hot, dry and breezy conditions persisting Monday, "the fire is expected to remain active through the evening hours with spread rates up to 100 chains per hour and flame lengths above 15 feet" over the next 12-24 hours.

Another wildfire in Palo Duro Canyon, the Prairie Dog Fork fire, has burned only about 300 acres and is 90 percent contained.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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