The Lime Hill Fire measured more than 12,000 acres Thursday, driven by continuous 20 mph winds Wednesday night, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management reports.
“The wind just moved the fire faster than we could keep up with it,” Fred Tucker, an engine captain with the BLM’s Vale District, said in a press release.
The fire closed Interstate 84 in both directions between Ontario and Pendleton for about nine hours Wednesday and prompted an advisory of possible evacuation for residents of Huntington due to its sudden growth. But the freeway reopened early Thursday and the evacuation notice has been rescinded, according to the BLM.
A High Desert Type 3 team arrived Thursday and will focus on protecting Huntington and limiting damage to priority sage-grouse habitat in the area. A particular area of concern is the fire’s northwest edge, where open line and challenging terrain have complicated efforts to contain the flames.