A massive wildfire in the New Mexico wilderness that already is the largest in state history spread in all directions Thursday, and experts say it's likely a preview of things to come as states across the West contend with a dangerous recipe of wind, low humidity and tinder-dry fuels.
The erratic Gila National Forest blaze grew overnight to more than 190,000 acres, or nearly 300 square miles, as it raced across the area's steep, ponderosa pine-covered hills and through its rugged canyons.
The 2-week-old Gila forest fire is the largest wildfire burning in the country.
Gov. Susana Martinez viewed the fire from a New Mexico National Guard helicopter Thursday afternoon and saw the thick smoke among some of the steep canyons that are inaccessible to firefighters.