EASTERN IDAHO- The Fourth of July weekend is around the corner, and the desire to buy and light fireworks is growing. Firefighters in eastern Idaho urge Idaho residents to use fireworks legally, appropriately and wisely.
Every summer, improper use of fireworks is responsible for multiple wildland and structure fires. Last year two homes in Pocatello were significantly damaged in a matter of minutes from illegal fireworks. Two years ago the Rapid Creek and Henry’s Creek fires burned nearly 53,000 acres due to illegal fireworks.
As the Fourth of July nears and the weather turns hotter and drier, please use “safe and sane” fireworks in gravel or asphalt areas away from vegetation and buildings. Safe and sane fireworks or “non-aerial common fireworks” remain near the ground and do not travel outside a 20-foot diameter. Safe and sane fireworks include cone fountains, sparklers, wheels and whistles.
Other fireworks, typically aerial ones, are illegal to shoot off in Idaho. Aerial fireworks present a huge risk for causing wildfires. While these kinds of fireworks may be purchased legally, Idaho law makes their use illegal. Illegal-use fireworks include bottle rockets, sky rockets, roman candles, firecrackers, missiles, parachutes, sky flyers, display shells and aerial items.
Always follow applicable fireworks regulations, including:
· Fireworks are only authorized for use during specific times of the year. Check local ordinances for dates you can use fireworks.
· Possessing and/or using fireworks on federal public lands (Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service) is strictly prohibited.
· Anyone misusing fireworks can be held liable for damages. Damages often include the costs of putting out the fire.
Certain areas, like Johnny Creek in the Pocatello area, prohibit fireworks due to the high risk of wildfire. Never light fireworks on a windy day and fully extinguish them with water before disposing of debris.
For more information, contact your local fire department.