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Boise firefighters, police respond to dozens of fireworks-related calls during 4th of July weekend

Treasure Valley law enforcement and fire crews were very busy during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

ADA COUNTY, Idaho — The Treasure Valley was treated to a beautiful Fourth of July display at Ann Morrison Park Sunday night, but it was far from the only fireworks display going on late on the holiday. The difference between the professional display and others is a matter of legal-versus-illegal fireworks.

Every year, non-sanctioned firework displays generate plenty of work for firefighters and police. So, using Ada County as a sample, what do the official statistics say about the 2021 Fourth of July weekend?

The Boise Fire Department told KTVB that, like every year, they had plenty to respond to all weekend long, including of course fires caused by fireworks. 

Between July 3 and 9:00 a.m. Monday morning, Boise F.D. said they responded to 24 fires,15 of which were confirmed to be caused by fireworks. The rest had other causes or are still under investigation. The department said the majority of calls they fielded saw a quick response with little or no property damage or injuries.

In a news release on Wednesday, July 7, Boise F.D. said fireworks were involved in the two fires under investigation, but both fires have been ruled as accidents.

One of those fires was reported shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday on Pierce Park Lane just north of State Street. The other was reported at 9:21 p.m. Sunday at a single-wide mobile home on North Linda Vista, southeast of Ustick Road and Mitchell Street. Firefighters controlled that fire within minutes, but they were back at 10 a.m. on Monday morning, after neighbors reported seeing smoke coming from the roof. Firefighters who went inside found smoldering debris in the kitchen and on the roof near the doorway. Firefighters soaked the debris with water. The people who live at both homes are receiving assistance from the Boise Burnout Fund.

Pictures of the Boise evening skyline Sunday highlighted just some of the illegal aerial fireworks seen on the Fourth of July. Boise Fire said so far there have been no citations issued in relation to illegal fireworks. Important to note though, that could soon change as more reports are submitted and completed.

Ada County dispatch also had one of their busiest nights of the year fielding calls about fireworks, fires, and other Fourth of July incidents.

Dispatch reports from the early hours of July 3 to 10:00 a.m. Monday, they had 2,833 incoming calls and 1,062 outgoing calls, for a total of 3,895 calls in about two days. 

For perspective, Ada County took about 1,000 more calls than they would during a normal weekend. 1,018 of the incoming calls this past weekend came in the evening on the Fourth of July into the early hours of July 5. During that time, dispatch received seven reported structure fires along with 32 grass fires.

Overall, Ada County dispatch had 297 fireworks calls entered for service from July 3 through 5.

No secret for pet owners, the holiday fireworks certainly upset dogs and cats across the area. Like every year, the fireworks lead some pets to panic and runaway from home.

The Idaho Humane Society told KTVB that they actually had a pretty quiet Fourth of July. Only seven dogs came in as stray on July 4. IHS said it is important to point out that the week before and after the Fourth historically has higher than normal volumes of runaway pets due to people shooting off fireworks outside of Independence Day.

Pet owners will need to keep an extra eye on the pets for another week, especially if their pet is a runner.

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