Governor Otter successfully takes helicopter tour of Idaho wildfires
Jennifer Auh reports on Gov. Otter's helicopter tour of the Idaho wildfires. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Governor Butch Otter took a helicopter tour of SW Idaho’s wildfires.
In a black hawk helicopter, Gov. Otter and the Director of Idaho's Bureau of Homeland Security took off from Gowen Field. He headed off to the towns of Pine and Stanley to check on both the Trinity Ridge Fire and the Halstead Fire.
“It’s more massive than you can imagine, watching the smoke climb into the air,” said Gov. Otter.
The governor requested the Idaho National Guard to lend an extra helping hand to fire crews. Now, soldiers are manning security check points and medical evac. helicopters on the Trinity Ridge Fire.
Gov. Otter is also personally affected by the fires. He owns a cabin in the small town of Pine.
Last week, he along with many other homeowners spent the days there, cutting down trees and bushes, creating defensible space around his house.
Right now, more helicopters and other devices are also being used to fight the flames and protect the homes.
Fire experts said a major challenge is dealing with the spot fires, caused mostly from the types of trees burning.
“Embers in the air and the winds catch them,” said Jeff Whitney, Area Commander, “There are green receptive unburned fuels, so those spot fires are a huge concern for us.”
Firefighters said their crews are planning on back burning the area to fight those spot fires.
Right now, fire experts are still estimating that crews will be fighting the fire until October. Another community meeting on the fire will take place Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Idaho City.