A wildfire burning in southeastern Oregon has become the state's largest blaze in more than a century.
The Long Draw Fire has burned more than 800 square miles in southeast Oregon.
Mike Whalen is a Fire Management Strategist with the BLM in Nevada. He says the Oregon-Nevada border received no snowpack this winter. And that led to tinderbox conditions that allowed the fire to grow quickly.
"We have sagebrush in this country right now. You could call it dead and it doesn't know it. The leaves are starting to curve on the sagebrush. It just has no moisture at all," Whalen says, adding that 40 mph winds helped the fire grow.
"It's like opening the flume on a woodstove when you got a good hot fire going in it," he says.
The fire is currently 50 percent contained, and moving east toward the Owyhee River. Crews are trying to prevent the fire from jumping the river. If it does, it could threaten homes and ranches in the Jordan Valley.
Meanwhile, authorities have recommended evacuations for a handful of homes threatened by another blaze near Harney Lake. The Miller Homestead Fire had charred about 250 square miles.
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