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Teens playing with fireworks started Boise Foothills fire, ACSO says

The fire burned more than 400 acres north of Eagle. Now, officials say four teens were playing with fireworks.

BOISE, Idaho — On Wednesday, Oct. 6, the Goose Fire burned more than 425 acres in the Boise Foothills. Soon after, investigators from the Ada County Sheriff's Office found the blaze was started by fireworks. 

Now, the Eagle Fire Department Fire Chief told KTVB on Thursday that the fire was started after a group of juveniles played with fireworks north of the Eagle Bike Park in the Boise Foothills. The fire was started in unincorporated Ada County.

According to the Ada County Sheriff's Office, four teens were identified as being responsible for the fire. The teens, a 15-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy and two 16-year-old boys, were lighting off aerial fireworks at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday near a trail by the Eagle Bike Park. 

Officials added that a man in the area saw the teens and told them to stop and leave.

The Ada County Sheriff's Office said in a press release that the teens later moved towards Goose Creek Road and lit off more fireworks, which sparked the Goose Fire. The teens then ran off without trying to put out the grass fire.

The Ada/Eagle Bike Park was not damaged by the Goose Fire but multiple Ridge to Rivers trails were damaged and were closed down.

According to the Bureau of Land Management, the Goose Fire burned 441 acres of the Boise Foothills.

With the help of the public's tips, Ada County detectives were able to identify the teens. After investigating the fire, officials spoke with the teens and passed along the details of the case to Ada County prosecutors.

The Ada County Sheriff's Office and the Eagle Fire Department said it will be up to prosecutors if charges are filed against the teens.

"As they work through the court case, we will have somebody reach out and ask if we have cost recovery," Eagle Fire Chief Tyler Lewis told KTVB.

Lewis explained that the fire department and agencies that assisted, or those who experienced any loss, will determine the restitution that is needed. 

Emergency crews deployed more than 30 trucks and units, as well as a dozer team to help battle the fire.

Even though the suspects are juveniles, they may not be off the hook, according to Idaho Statute 20-520. The state law writes, "Unless the court determines that an order of restitution would be inappropriate or undesirable, it shall order the juvenile offender or his parents or both to pay restitution to or make whole any victim who suffers an economic loss as a result of the juvenile offender’s conduct."

Eagle Fire and partnering agencies are still determining what that cost may look like.

Under Idaho Code 18-7004, it is a misdemeanor for someone to light a prairie or timberland and leave without putting it out completely.

Editor's Note: This article will be updated when further details are made available by officials.