Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security News Release
For immediate release, August 19, 2015
Contact: Elizabeth Duncan (208) 258-6595 or (208) 866-5969
Governor Authorizes Use of Active Duty Personnel for Firefighting
Blackhawk crews currently helping to fight fires in North Central Idaho
(Boise) Following a request for assistance to the Idaho Emergency Operations Center, Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter has authorized Idaho National Guard personnel and equipment to support firefighting efforts on the Clearwater Complex fires in north central Idaho.
The mission assignment enables the National Guard to provide support for the Idaho Department of Lands in combatting the fires which have grown to more than 64-thousand acres.
“The devastation caused by the Clearwater Complex Fires has caused untold hardships and loss for individuals and families in north central Idaho,” said Governor Otter. “We are using all available resources to ensure that lives and infrastructure are protected.”
The FireHawk, a military Blackhawk helicopter assigned to the 168th Command Aviation Company of the Idaho Army National Guard is configured with a one-thousand gallon water tank helping to augment fire crews battling the blaze on the ground.
“The unique capabilities of the Idaho National Guard further enhance extraordinary efforts underway to protect public safety,” said Brad Richy, Director, Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security. “We are grateful for their efforts and committed to providing resources and support to all affected areas.”
The Idaho Emergency Operations Center, housed at the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security, remains on heightened alert and continues to monitor the situation, process requests for assistance, and issue mission assignments to support the ongoing fire suppression efforts. The activation and the missions are made possible through the Governor’s disaster declaration issued August 13.
Note to reporters: The Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security is the State of Idaho’s emergency management agency. Please note that IBHS is an Idaho-specific agency, and it is not the same thing as the federal Department of Homeland Security. Within the State of Idaho organizational chart, IBHS is aligned under the State of Idaho Military Division.