Gov. Otter helps neighbors prepare for wildfire

Credit: Troy Colson/KTVB

Gov. Otter helps neighbors prepare for wildfire

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by Natalie Podgorski

KTVB.COM

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 10:11 AM

FEATHERVILLE, Idaho -- People near the Trinity Ridge Fire are storing their valuables on the Elk Valley golf course as the flames get closer to the towns of Pine and Featherville.

The Idaho National Guard moved in today to support crews working along the fire lines.

The Trinity Ridge Fire has drastically increased in size since August 6th. The fire is now moving southeast towards Pine and Featherville. It is only five percent contained.

Firefighters were doing there best Friday to keep the fire from reaching town, and making sure it does not destroy anything once it gets there.

Crews were busy watering down areas, digging fire lines and thinning trees off of Pine-Featherville Road. Those we talked with said that things were going very well.

There are about 500 homes in the Pine-Featherville area, and homeowners are bracing for the worst.

One of those homeowners happens to be Idaho Gov. Butch Otter who got out chainsaw and began clearing trees near his cabin. The governor also took time to help out his neighbors with some equipment he brought up from his ranch in Star.

"And when they saw me pull in with big, heavy equipment they said can a couple of them come by and knock down some this tall weeds around our place," said Gov. Otter. "They appreciated the fact that we're all paying attention, and that we're able to do absolutely everything we can from the state level, as well as the federal level, to protect our structures, to protect our community."

The governor and first lady tell us they have done almost everything they can to get ready, now they just have to wait and hope that it's enough.

Gov. Otter says he'll leave once he is asked to, and he hopes the rest of the community does the same.

The town had a bit more of an eery feel to it on Friday as more ash was falling from the sky. Some of the larger pieces were burnt bark from the trees.

The Red Cross will be assisting residents who may need safe shelter at the Pine Senior Center. Volunteers will also be serving meals there.

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