BOISE -- Gov. Butch Otter took a helicopter tour of two of Idaho's wildfires Tuesday. The governor, along with other officials, saw the Halstead and Trinity Ridge fires from the air.

It's more massive than you can imagine standing on the ground and watching the smoke climb into the air, said Otter on the Trinity Ridge Fire. You could see the smoke, but when you see the extent of those fire lines around 140 square miles of just one fire.

Otter took a Black Hawk helicopter up for a different view of the Trinity Ridge and Halstead fires. He stopped and talked with incident commanders at both fires. The governor is positive about the crews on those fires, and that homes and buildings will be safe.

Multiple agencies are involved in structure protection and fighting the fires.

One of the things that I think is most important is working relationships we've had with each one of those agencies, said Col. Brad Richy of the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security.

There's been tremendous cooperation amongst all the agencies, said Otter.

There was also a note Tuesday for folks in the Treasure Valley.

I can't promise a blue bird day everyday in Boise, there's gonna be some smoke. These fires are long-duration fires, they're going to be on the ground, on the landscape for probably the next six to eight weeks until snow fly, said Jeff Whitney, Southwest Area Commander.

The governor said these fires are a reminder to make sure your home is firewise. He admitted his house in Pine needed a little work before his visit last week.

It seems like it takes an incident like we're going through right now for people to become more aware of what they should be doing to defend themselves, he said.

The governor said in 2007, another bad wildfire year, the state spend more than $20 million on fighting fires. He says that figure stands between $13 million and $14 million this year.

Read or Share this story: