Firefighting from an office at the National Interagency Fire Center

Posted at 10:00 PM, Aug 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-23 01:16:15-04

Though you probably think most of the firefighting happens on the hot, smoky fire line. But inside an air-conditioned building in Boise, they, too, are working hard to extinguish flames nationwide.

John Glenn is the Chief of Fire Operation for the Bureau of Land Management at the National Interagency Fire Center. Glenn is one of the many team members managing fire operations around the country.

"We'll sit down and do priorities,” Glenn says. “We have established priorities: life [and] property being number one."

He says the priority fires in the United States right now are in California.

“The Bluecut fire… consumed 100 homes, 300 structures total, and we really look at those areas for community protection and, again, you get back to life," he says.

Fires burning in Idaho and East Oregon are being watched for the toll they take on wildlife habitat

"For BLM, our number one natural resource value is sage grouse,” Glenn says. “So that's one of our main focuses."

From the Fire Center, teams manage and monitor resources available nationwide.

Local fire crews are getting a hand from across the nation.

"There are crews coming from the Southeast, they've been getting a lot of rain down there,” Glenn says. “We actually have a jet on contract, a 737, and they'll bring five crews. That's 100 people."

Though we might be focused on the fires close to home, those running the show behind the scenes can see the bigger picture.

"Yeah, it's been a busy season," says Glenn.