TODAY   |  August 21, 2013

Thousands of firefighters work to control Idaho blaze

More than 2,000 firefighters are working 24 hours a day to quell an Idaho blaze that is currently the size of Denver. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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>> natalie has new details on the massive fires out west.

>>> good morning everyone. almost 50 large wildfires are burning across the western united states this morning taxing fire fighting resourcing and pushing spending past $1 billion for the year. miguel almaguer is in haley, idaho for the latest.

>>> fighting these fires is a 24 hour operation. the men and women on the front lines may not get a hot bed or a place to go and eat for two weeks. even though they lost 106,000 acres of land, they managed to save thousands of homes.

>> deep inside the national forest , this is what the fire fight looks like. back breaking work contains the nation's most dangerous inferno. sean moore is a second generation fireman. he'll spend two weeks facing the fire storm as much time as he spent at home this fire season with his 8 month old son.

>> my wife is sending me photos and videos of him every night. different things he's starting to do that i'm not there for.

>> idaho's beaver creek fire is massive. the side of denver. only one home has been destroyed but this morning, 1200 are threatened. the johnsons evacuated their dream home for a shelter six days ago.

>> we'll be okay as long as mother nature cooperates. the firefighters are doing their job and i'm feeling optimistic.

>> reporter: with fires burning faster and hotter than ever before the drought out west is fuelling 48 major wildfires. in california alone, 9 of 19 national forests are on fire. nationwide, 18,000 firefighters are on the front lines today.

>> we can mitigate that hazard by not having somebody in there.

>> i agree.

>> the fire fight out west stuff on the front lines and at home.

>> reporter: overnight more resources arrived here, some 2,000 fire fighting personnel are on scene. this blaze