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BOISE -- As hundreds of thousands of acres burn throughout Idaho, fire crews work tirelessly to respond and protect our homes and towns.

But have our fire resources been affected by the federal budget cuts, known as sequestration?

Governor C.L. Butch Otter says it's a major concern.

This is no way to run a government and this is no way really to defend the lands of the west is through this sequestration process, said Otter.

Senator Mike Crapo has also spoken out on the sequestration and its effects on Idaho's efforts to protect land and homes.

We can't lose sight of the fact that while we are fighting big issues like our forest and rangeland management and firefighting issues, we're also fighting a national debt crisis, said Crapo.

We took the concerns to U.S. Forest Service spokesperson Mike Ferris.

Ferris says the agency lost 5 percent of their budget this year, which meant 500 fewer firefighters and 50 fewer engines across the country.

The cuts would be a person here, a person there, this engine won't have an additional staff person, we may not have prevention patrol in this particular area, said Ferris.

But, he says the reduced resources are minimal and have not impacted the firefighters' work in our state.

Ferris says the cost doesn't compare to the mission - saving lives and land.

Of course costs are always a concern, however, we don't let that interfere in our response to protect communities, said Ferris.

We also checked with the Idaho National Guard, who responded to the Beaver Creek fire.

Col. Tim Marsano says they originally feared the worst.

Had we been required to take the orginal unpaid 22 furlough days, our readiness could have been severely affected, said Marsano. However, I think we dodged a bullet when we brought that down to six.

Ferris assures us, that despite the fight for funds federally, the fight will never stop on the firelines.

If we're getting to the point where we're having issues with what's appropriated by Congress for this wildfire season, we have ways to address that and one of them is to look internally at what money we stil have available within our programs, said Ferris.

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