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Gov. Butch Otter visits Bayview area to see damage from wildfire that burned 6 homes


BAYVIEW, Idaho — Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter on Thursday visited the area burned by the Cape Horn wildfire near the town of Bayview in northern Idaho.

The tour started aboard an Idaho National Guard Blackhawk helicopter. Although heavy smoke obscured views, Otter said he was able to watch helicopters drop water on the flames.

The Spokesman-Review reported (http://bit.ly/1Gazx4e ) that the Cape Horn fire started Sunday and has burned 1,155 acres and six homes.

Officials said it was 40 percent contained as of Thursday afternoon, and was no longer actively threatening homes.

More than 300 firefighters were working to strengthen containment lines.

Otter toured the affected neighborhoods and urged homeowners to keep brush and trees near homes trimmed.

"Still some pretty good hotspots up there," Otter said at a news conference. "And from what I know about fire management it's pretty tough to fight because it's very, very steep and it's going uphill. An aerial attack, as long as you have the visibility, is about the only way you're going to get that."

On Monday, Otter declared Kootenai and Bonner counties a disaster emergency area because of the fire.

Residents of the Bayview area who had to evacuate because of the fire were allowed to return to their homes on Thursday.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

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