Some twelve years ago the GUARDIAN called for a fireworks ban, dubbing the July 4 incendiaries as “arson kits.”
Now after we have suffered the disastrous Table Rock fire in 2016, there is a bill before the legislature to ban fireworks. It was always with a wink and a nod that folks would purchase aerial rockets of all sorts and sign a waiver at the point of purchase promising to not use them in Idaho.
Here is what Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan is pushing at the current session of the Idaho Legislature.
BOISE FIRE DEPT NEWS RELEASE
Following the 2,500-acre Table Rock fire last June which was caused by illegal fireworks and cost taxpayers $341,000, Fire Chief Dennis Doan announced his plan to urge legislators to make it unlawful to purchase or possess illegal fireworks. Rep. Erpelding is sponsoring measures to draft a bill making illegal fireworks truly illegal.
“I am excited to support Rep. Erpelding (D) in his legislative efforts during the current legislative session to amend the statute to fix the loophole language. We were extremely fortunate no lives were lost in the Table Rock fire, and as wildfire season is quickly approaching, we believe it’s time to better protect Idaho citizens, their property, and our firefighters who risk their lives battling fires caused by illegal fireworks. It is not our intent to outlaw “safe and sane” fireworks, only aerial fireworks,” stated Chief Doan.
Fires caused by fireworks July 4 and July 5 increased from seven in 2015 to 17 in 2016, which included two homes lost.
Some notable endorsements for tighter fireworks laws include: Idaho Fire Chiefs Association, Ada County Sheriff Bartlett, Boise Police Chief Bill Bones, Lewiston Fire Chief Myklebust, Pocatello Fire Chief Gates, Coeur d’Alene Fire Chief Gabriel, Idaho Falls Fire Chief Hanneman, Meridian Police Chief Lavey, Meridian Fire Chief Niemeyer and Caldwell Fire Chief Wendelsdorf.
We endorse Doan and Rep. Erpelding for their efforts.
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