BOISE - Licensed fireworks stands are officially open for business in the Treasure Valley!
While fireworks can be fun, they also have the potential to start devastating fires.
This month marks one year since the Table Rock Fire scorched four square miles of foothills land and burned one home to the ground.
It started with a Roman candle.
While that is an illegal firework, fire officials are urging Idahoans to use caution with any type of fireworks, even snakes and sparklers.
Accidently starting a fire when playing with pyrotechnics can land you in jail - and put you on the hook for hefty restitution costs.
To avoid that, Meridian Fire Marshal Joe Bongiorno says take these precautions.
First, look at your surroundings before you light a firework.
“Obviously out in the street is a good place to do it, but you want to be careful of traffic and cars, especially at night, so if you can find a parking lot that's not full of cars would be better,” says Bongiorno.
Bongiorno recommends staying away from dry grass, bushes, trees, anything that could catch fire easily.
And the Boise Foothills are completely off limits.
More than 2,500 acres were burned on June 29 and 30 of last year when an illegal firework was set off on Table Rock.
“They're illegal in Idaho for a reason, you can look at the fire we had last year up in the foothills, illegal fireworks, that guy got fined $350,000 that he has to pay back in two years. It's no joke,” says Bongiorno.
Even for legal, safe and sane fireworks, Bongiorno says keep a couple buckets of water handy or a hose in case things get out of hand.
He also adds, don't attempt to re-light a "dud," and completely submerge all spent fireworks in water.
“I have worked for the fire department for 18 years, and over that span we have had people that just take the fireworks, throw them in their garbage cans and then push their garbage can in their garage and then 1 o' clock in the morning we end up going out to a structure fire because their garbage caught fire," says Bongiorno.
Fireworks can be sold and used starting Friday until midnight on July 5.
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