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Containment of the McDannald Fire Now at 59 Percent

As of Sunday night, there were more than 400 personnel on the ground fighting the fire. (Photo: Texas A&M Forest Service)

As of late Sunday, fire officials reported the McDannald Ranch fire was now 59 percent contained.

The wildfire that’s believed to have been started by lightning strike early last week has affected an estimated 18,970 acres as of Sunday night.

Throughout the weekend, the number of personnel on the ground fighting the fire was changing day-to-day. But by last count, the number of responders in Fort Davis had grown to more than 400.

That number includes fire crews from about 14 states across the country, including a federal response team.

Heath Morton is an operations director with that federal team that's helping coordinate response on the ground. He says until the fire is 100 percent contained, there’s still plenty of potential for it to spread into unburned areas covered in dry fuel.

“Our objective is to put a complete line around the entire perimeter of the fire - and until we get that, this fire has potential to - it could get right back out tomorrow and rage again.”

On Sunday, fire crews continued to put in protective measures in the Davis Mountains Resort area, where there’s still a voluntary evacuation request in place. The fire’s edge came within a half a mile of the closest house in the DMR last week. Officials say they’re continuing to work on new access roads and containment lines in the area.

The fire no longer has a major flame front or head, but until it is completely contained, officials say new flare ups and fronts are possible.

For more information about the McDannald Ranch Fire, you can call the Fire Information Line at 432-558-8311.

You can also go online to the emergency coordination team’s website  here

Carlos Morales is Marfa Public Radio's News Director.