A fire set by federal land managers attempting to reduce the amount of fuel in rangeland west of here blew out of control Monday, charring more than 400 acres.

"Conditions were drier than our crews figured," said Bureau of Land Management spokesman Jim Crisp. "The winds kicked up and we lost it."The fire was expected to settle down as temperatures dropped during the night.

No structures were threatened.

The fire was burning in thick sage, juniper and cheat grass. Crisp said the fuel load "was particularly heavy, which was why we were out there conduct-ing a prescribed burn in the first place."

Numerous retardant and water drops were made Monday, and 60 people were battling the fire. There was no estimated time of containment.