||A strong cold front passing through the central portion of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and Deep South Texas during the mid and late afternoon of March 18th brought a combination of wind gusts in excess of 50 mph, falling humidity into the teens, and rapid drying to already drought-affected short-term fuels. These conditions, combined with falling live power lines and other sparking material, produced a number of significant wild fires across Jim Hogg, Brooks, Hidalgo, and Starr Counties between the afternoon of the 18th and the afternoon of the 19th.
In total, aerial and ground surveys suggested that at least 40,000 acres may have burned in total, with at least 25,000 of those related to the Burns Ranch blaze which stretched from the border of Starr, Brooks, and Jim Hogg County east-southeast into southern Brooks and Hidalgo County, with the smoke plume extending into Willacy County. Infrared satellite imagery initially pinpointed the hot spots soon after ignition; Doppler Radar was able to capture the plume from the Burns Ranch Fire into the evening of the 18th.
||The Encino Fire, which began during the morning of the 19th when north winds ratcheted up above 25 mph and humidity remained near or just below 35 percent, quickly grew to 2525 acres during the day in an area located near Lucero Rd on the east side of Federal Highway 281. The fire destroyed one outbuilding. Resources worked a back burn to control the fire, and two helicopter tankers provided air support. Numerous fire departments from Brooks, Hidalgo, and neighboring counties aided the containment and control effort. One firefighter was treated for minor injuries due to smoke inhalation at the scene, but soon was released.