City Government

266 Fireworks Complaints, Just One Ticket

We did our best to put the fireworks complaints and responses in perspective July 5.

Ada County dispatch reported 266 complaints about illegal fireworks which was almost identical to previous year’s complaints county-wide.

Boise Police tell us there was, “at least one ticket issued.” Ada deputies did not write any citations and we have not heard from Meridian.

Coppers past and present tell us it is very difficult to catch the scofflaws in the act and confide that other calls often have a higher priority response. So, by the time they arrive the illegal activity is often finished.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Firetruck full of kids touring the local neighborhood fireworks drove past. Bummed they didn’t blow the horn. Maybe next year?

    Lots of drunk people driving around at 11-12. Great night for a checkpoint. I think the town consumed more beer than gasoline yesterday.

    It’s one of the biggest spontaneous street parties in America.

    Everyone was watching for fire. The fireworks before and after the 4th scare me cuz nobody is watching for fires.

  2. Brian Vermillion
    Jul 6, 2017, 6:23 am

    And the point is what? We know that city halls dont have the nuts to take away the debauchery and drunken orgies that we have all come to expect,especially when the mayor of Nampa, Bob Henry, just announced his candidacy for re-election. The same is true in Caldwell with mayor Garret Nancolis. Why in the world would we expect public safety to be a priority? Hopefully Boise fire chief Dennis Doan and attorney general Lawrence Wasden have started the ball rolling with their efforts.

  3. I had people shooting off aerials literally next door and I didn’t bother calling because I knew nothing would happen. I just sat on the porch so I could see if the house caught on fire.

  4. Brian, they put forth a bill last year that the Legislature voted down. I don’t see it progressing any further in the Legislature, particularly in an election year.

    EDITOR NOTE–For clarification, didn’t the bill get held out from actual consideration?

  5. As I mentioned in the previous fireworks post:
    “Or let’s talk about the police enforcement of the current laws?”

    It would be interesting to see the ONE citation- must have been really egregious.

    Dear Chief Doan,
    Take your opinion to your own city council to get them to enforce the current law (within the current budget!).
    Leave the legislature alone to balance the state budget.
    You and the city and the county have the resources and the laws to do something about it. Your bad attitude toward the legislature is getting in your way.
    ONE Citation?!

  6. Eastie;

    The Legislature created this mess by crafting an intentionally vague and unenforceable law. Fireworks are illegal, except that they’re not. And, I hate to cite the Statesman but, their story last week was telling. They reached out to individuals who were members of the session that created the current fireworks law and guess what. They all have memory loss. None of them “can remember” how the legislation got created.

    Local law enforcement in any community does not have the resources to chase down all the violators. The numbers just aren’t there. Then you throw “within the current budget”, which I suppose means no overtime for additional personnel. So it’s impossible.

    You can try to blame city officials (PD, Fire, Mayor, Council) all you want but the Legislature caused this.

    Don’t call police or 911 with a fireworks complaint. Call your legislator.

    This issue can’t be addressed on a local level until the Legislature fixes the law.

  7. Burn Baby Burn
    Jul 6, 2017, 1:01 pm

    It should be legal once a year on the holiday to go around with fire extinguishers or a long hose and hose down (including spray them in the face) anyone who is possessing and lighting illegal fireworks (anything which explodes or goes more than a few inches in the air or emits sparks or flames more than a few feet).

    Even better would be the fire truck collector who has a restored truck who could then drive around really hosing these idiots down. Now wouldn’t that be really fun?!?!? I would rather do that than light fireworks.

    The call count is far below the actual infractions. Most have learned (myself included) that calling in anything unless there is either an actual fire or someone injured is a total waste of time. Dispatch more or less will tell you, “sorry but we can’t deal with it!”

    It is sad that this holiday makes grown adults behave like 10 year old children risking the safety and property of others. Plus these people must either be rich with hundreds to thousands of dollars to blow on this useless crap or they have an insane credit card balance….

  8. Wolf, Not quite.
    What do you propose the Idaho legislature does to prevent me from buying fireworks out of state and lighting those in my backyard?
    Still illegal, right? Boise and Ada police are not interested in pursuing such a violation. Apparently, even YOU don’t care if I burn your house down with stuff I bought outside of Idaho. Party on!
    One citation?

    The mess of the Idaho law is ONLY that it allows someone to buy something that is illegal of which using it within Idaho is illegal. It allows me to buy something- private property. So what?
    Suppose Eperling and others get their wish. So it’s illegal to buy aerial fireworks within Idaho- then what? Problem may be reduced but it is not gone. Then will you and Boise police change your mind? “Oh, okay, now we’ll go enforce the ban…” That is ridiculous.
    There still needs to be enforcement at the point of the offence.

    Whether I buy it in Idaho or elsewhere, it is still ILLEGAL to use.
    VERY MUCH like Oregon marijuana. ISP is more than happy to pursue people who buy it LEGALLY and possess it illegally within Idaho. Why? Well, there is much more more opportunity for fines and civil forfeiture for that ‘crime’. They even develop a multi-unit task force for the explicit purpose of pursuing Oregon weed.
    No official says, ‘Well, that’s an unfunded mandate to chase the out-of-state drugs so we’re not gonna do it.” Boise police is not saying, “that’s impossible, so we’re not even going to try. And The Wolf agrees with us”.
    One citation?

    Imagine, calling your police to report your neighbor has a meth house and hearing, “Don’t call the police. Call your legislator.”

  9. Your hyperbole and high blood pressure won’t help.
    Eliminating in-state sale of illegal fireworks will reduce the problem to a manageable volume.
    You single out Boise and Ada cops apparently because you don’t like those guys, but the problem is state wide. Law enforcement state wide knows they can’t tackle the volume of illegal fireworks.
    Your blather about marijuana and meth labs is as silly as the rest of your argument.
    Eliminate in-state sales of illegal fireworks and the problem is reduced to the point that local law enforcement can handle it.
    Until the Legislature fixes the law, the problem is simply too large.
    By the way, thanks for giving me credit for being able to OK what the police do. Not sure what I’ll do with my new found power…

  10. Let 'er burn
    Jul 6, 2017, 7:37 pm


    What I propose is to vote out the legislators that have been there more than 3 terms. They’re just relishing in the power and travel.

    Really, this is not a new issue. But it is not a church issue, a human rights issue, a republican issue or a womens’ issue, so they shove it back in the drawer without much attention.

    There are fewer coppers in Boise now than 5 years ago. What does that say?


  11. Eastie… do you have more info on the multi-agency task force to go after Oregon weed?

  12. And back to the top of the page for a moment, “firetruck full of kids”?
    Where was that?
    That seems inappropriate to me.

  13. Erico49, here’s one:
    While the task-force coordinates all law enforcement issues, when Oregon legalized rec use, it became a priority. No one said, ‘the problem is too big’ instead they said, “we’ve taken it head-on”. Instead DOJ funding provided additional training targeting drug apprehensions, equipment, etc. And there is always the $ incentive of seizures. Drug money can pay for more MRAPS baby!

    Wolf states, “Law enforcement state wide knows they can’t tackle the volume of illegal fireworks.”
    . “It’s too big. We can’t handle it”.
    266 complaints. 1 citation.

    Meanwhile from noon July 4th to noon on the fifth there were 10 DUI arrests in Ada County. I’ll bet there were a lot more than 266 drunk drivers on the 4th- and 10 were busted.
    The “size” of the problem is not the issue.

    Yes, it is a state-wide issue. So if the legislature passes no sales in places like Canyon County, the pyro-fan can simply go to the nearest Indian Reservation. Just like the weed-fans go to the nearest dispensary.
    The problem will continue where there is no enforcement; that’s a fact.

    So what does Chief Bones say about it ?

  14. ‘the pyro-fan can simply go to the nearest Indian Reservation”
    You’re assuming that everyone who now drives to Canyon would go that far. Silly.

    “July 4th to noon on the fifth there were 10 DUI arrests in Ada County.”
    Apples and oranges, babe. Silly.

    “So what does Chief Bones say about it ?”
    Good question. Did you ask him?

  15. The worst violence
    Jul 7, 2017, 11:39 pm

    The worst violence related to the 4th of July in Boise is on this page… don’t you bickering idiots understand what an amazing thing we have here?

  16. “…don’t you bickering idiots understand what an amazing thing we have here?”

    Why don’t you ask that question to the people displaced at Edgewater Apartments? Or ask the people up at Warm Springs Mesa and Table Rock area about last year’s fire.

    Look, it’a big city and there are lots of people. Many many thousands. Heck, who needs stop lights and stop signs? Just because a few cause accidents in uncontrolled interceptions why should the rest of us have to be inconvenienced?

    Same thing with the dogs at Esther Simplot Park, there’s just too many of them so rules have to be enacted and enforced.

    Far as I can tell, there’s no constitutional guarantee for aerial fireworks or taking your dog everywhere you go.


  17. Easterner,
    I’ll bet Bones in his heart of hearts knows he cannot solve the problem. He is glad to be alive and headed toward retirement.

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