I.F. firefighters take down first firework-caused fire of the season
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IDAHO FALLS — The Idaho Falls Fire Department put out its first fireworks-related fire of the season Wednesday.
Idaho Falls Police spokeswoman Kerry Hammon said firefighters were dispatched at approximately 10:40 p.m. to a field fire near the intersection of North Eve Drive and North Adam Drive. The reporting person stated flames were 6 to 8 feet tall, were approaching a tree and had extended to a fence and shed, according to a news release.
When firefighters arrived the fire had burned about 500 square feet of grass on the canal bank and had destroyed the contents of a small tin shed. Firefighters were able to get the fire under control within several minutes of arriving on the scene, which kept it from a nearby mobile home.
Hammon confirmed the fire was caused by fireworks, which caused about $2,000 worth of damages.
The fire department is stressing that while fireworks are fun displays of patriotism, they must be used with care. Additionally, city officials stress it is illegal to buy and shoot fireworks that are classified as dangerous by Title 6 Chapter 2 of the Idaho Falls City Code.
Dangerous fireworks include firecrackers, cannon crackers, giant crackers, salutes, silver tube salutes, cherry bombs, mines, ground bombardment, grass-hoppers, skyrockets, rockets, Roman candles, chasers, whistles, torpedoes, fire balloons, toy cannons and a number of others. Read the full list here.
City code does allow for “safe and sane fireworks,” which include snakes, sparklers, cones, and wheels among others. Read the full list here.
Every year, fire departments throughout eastern Idaho respond to multiple fires due to improper use of fireworks. The 2016 Henrys Creek Fire, which burned some 50,000 acres, was caused by fireworks. That blaze resulted in jail time and a multimillion dollar fine for Ammon resident Kristian John Lopez, who started the fire.
The Idaho Falls Fire Department reminds residents of the following:
- Safe and sane fireworks may only be purchased within city limits between June 23 and July 5.
- The Fire Marshal has the authority to approve or disapprove of firework display permits for various community events involving pyrotechnics.
- Please be courteous of others. Residents may be cited for disturbing the peace if they are found to be causing a disturbance in neighborhoods because of fireworks.
- Prior to purchasing fireworks, learn more about illegal or banned fireworks inside city limits by reviewing Title 6 Chapter 2 of the Idaho Falls City Code.
Also if you are going to use fireworks, please use the following safety protocols.
- Keep safety in mind when lighting fireworks. Never light fireworks inside a structure.
- Point fireworks away from homes, and keep from brush, leaves and flammable substances. Never throw fireworks at people.
- Maintain a minimum 40 feet clear space when lighting fireworks and stand several feet away once lit. If a firework does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it; put it out with water and dispose of it.
- Always have a bucket of water, hose, and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
- Closely supervise children around fireworks. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Children must be at least 16 years of age to light fireworks.
- Sparklers may seem harmless but can cause severe injuries as they burn at about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Children should be supervised while using sparklers.
- If a child or adult is injured by fireworks, seek medical attention immediately.