Wild Lands of the West | The BLM, National Geographic Magazine: Wildland Fire Fighters

Marine Corps troops trained in fire fighting relieve tired, overburdened fire fighters and put out the last, smoking embers in part of an under-control wildfire in the wilderness near Clear Creek, Idaho. Over 200,000 acres of forest burned in the Clear Creek fire near Echo Canyon.

More than a billion dollars are spent annually suppressing fires that burn millions of acres of western land. The West is a tinderbox. Wild fires spread through thick forests every year because drought and long-term fire suppression make the underbrush a thick forest canopy.