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Idaho's fire crews prep for Fourth of July weekend

Posted at 5:20 PM, Jul 04, 2024

MERIDIAN, Idaho — While friends and family gather for fun festivities, fire crews are working to keep people safe this holiday weekend. Here's what officials are asking the public to help them with as they respond to emergencies.

  • Setting off your own aerial fireworks is illegal in Idaho.
  • Local fire crews are planning for a risky and busy weekend.
  • Fire officials are urging the public to give them space when responding to emergencies. Move to the right when you see sirens and lights while driving.


“I hear them all the time, going off, in my neighborhood. So I know that people are doing illegal fireworks," said Carly Shears, the Community Risk Reduction Division Manager for
Meridian Fire Department.

An important reminder ahead of the holiday weekend… shooting off aerial fireworks is illegal in the state of Idaho…

“In 2016, there was the Table Rock Fire that was caused by fireworks. It burned over 2,500 acres, two structures including a home. So if that happens because you are lighting off illegal fireworks, you can be held financially and legally responsible,” said Shears.

Not to mention the risk of sustaining life threatening injuries.

“A lot of times what you’ll see is the cannons will tip over and those will shoot in the opposite direction. Or they will just explode in the can themselves and not actually leave the cannon. So there’s a lot of hazards," said Shears.

With the opening of two near stations this past year, Meridian Fire Chief Jordan Reese tells me how the department is in a good place to respond to emergencies… but their team is still preparing for the increased risk of fires and injuries this weekend

“We are staffing an extra command officer to help with some of the bigger incidents that we are expecting over the weekend, but a lot of you know everything just goes down to being ready to respond and we cut out all training that we might be doing and just really focus on response," said Reese.

Ada County has also implemented a fireworks ban for unincorporated areas of the county.


Local firework stand owner Barrett Smith says they only sell safe, sane and legal fireworks so people can celebrate responsibly, “we just ask where they are lighting them. If they’re in a neighborhood, in the street, or driveway, they’re going to be fine, but NOT in an open field or anywhere near the foothills."

Another key to enjoying fireworks safely is proper disposal, “with gloves on, you’ll pick it up and put it in a steel bucket with water in it," said Lisa Richard, the Deputy Fire Marshal the Caldwell Fire Department, in a 2023 firework demonstration.