Fireworks

Julio Cortez / AP Photo

After controversy over legal vs illegal fireworks in Idaho in the run up to the July Fourth holiday, the Boise Fire Department reports they did respond to fires over the long weekend caused by fireworks.

BFD reports 13 fires on July 4 and July 5. Four were started by fireworks, and five are still under investigation. That is a drop from last year when ten fires were started by fireworks.

Andrew Dai / Flickr Creative Commons

The tradition of shooting off fireworks on the 4th of July is as old as our nation's independence. And the business of fireworks is also a family tradition for the folks who own Western Display Fireworks, one of the largest producers of professional fireworks in the the Northwest.

Western Display will be responsible for putting on the City of Boise's big fireworks show on July 4th, which this year has been moved to Expo Idaho.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

In the latest twist over legal fireworks, an opinion from the Idaho Attorney General's office says aerial fireworks can only be sold to someone with a permit for a public display or event. The controversy over sales of bottle rockets and Roman candles heated up after last year’s Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills.

 

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In the run up to the Fourth of July, fireworks are now on sale at licensed stands. With the memory of last summer’s Table Rock Fire still fresh, officials are asking people to be mindful of where they detonate their pyrotechnics.

The Table Rock Fire scorched four square miles of the Boise foothills and burned destroyed one home last year; it started with an illegal Roman candle.

Even so-called “safe and sane” fireworks can start wildfires and present a danger if set off improperly or in areas close to accelerants like fuel or dried brush.

state seal, legislature
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Monday was a busy day at the Statehouse.

Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

Oddly enough, you can buy fireworks in Idaho, but detonating aerial types in the state is illegal. The Table Rock Fire started unintentionally with illegal fireworks on June 30th of last year; the total cost of battling the flames ended up around $341,000.

Immediately following the fire, Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan called the fireworks policy “absolutely ludicrous.”

Now, Doan is asking lawmakers to prohibit the sale of fireworks in Idaho.

Christian Lundh / Flickr Creative Commons

After fireworks sparked a wildfire in central Idaho that burned about 4 square miles, as well as a separate house fire in Nampa, public officials are pushing to reevaluate Idaho's fireworks regulations.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan and Nampa Fire Marshal Phil Roberts are calling for the Idaho Legislature to ban the sale of aerial fireworks, with are illegal to use in state but legal to sell.

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Update 7/11/16: The filmaker who captured the wild abandon of the Crouch Fourth of July celebration is not pleased with the version posted by the New York Post. Adam Nawrot calls the Post's shorter, music-enhanced video "disgusting."

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

The Ada County Sheriff says in less than 24 hours over the Fourth of July holiday, his dispatch office received 235 fireworks complaints and 33 reports of grass fires.

Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan says at least 12 fires in Boise were likely caused by fireworks over the Monday holiday. And the Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills last week, which burned a home, was caused by illegal fireworks. The Nampa Fire Marshal says illegal fireworks likely burned down a home Tuesday morning.

Richard Bauer / Flickr Creative Commons

Southwest Idaho officials say illegal fireworks are likely to blame for a fire that destroyed a house in Nampa early Tuesday morning.

Fire Marshal Phil Roberts tells KTVB-TV that the fire started on the home's roof at about 1:45 a.m.

Two people inside escaped unharmed before the home became engulfed in flames.

Roberts says the investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing but neighbors report aerial fireworks going off in the area at the time the fire was reported.