(CBS NEWS) More than 40 uncontained, active and large wildfires dot the Western U.S. from Arizona to Washington state and Alaska, taxing national firefighting resources and helping to push spending past $1 billion for the year.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise has raised the national wildfire preparedness level to the highest tier for the first time in five years. That means local fire officials can ask for federal and even international resources to tackle the flames in their areas, explains CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy.

The center lists two central Idaho wildfires as the country’s top priorities, helping provide crews and resources for the Beaver Creek Fire, which forced the evacuation of 1,250 homes in the resort area of Ketchum and Sun Valley and has cost nearly $12 million to fight so far.

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