HELENA, Mont. - Helicopters, air tankers and other resources are scarce as wildfires continue to scorch the bone-dry West.
Fire managers say they're sharing the best they can, but the onerous task of prioritizing the nation's largest fires and doling out resources falls on the shoulders of seven people who meet twice daily in an Idaho conference room.
They are based at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise. Known as the National Multi-Agency Coordination Group, its members represent federal land agencies like the Forest Service, as well as state foresters and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
They look at everything from the size and danger of the fires to the weather forecast.