BOISE, Idaho — This Saturday marks the Fourth of July and one of the biggest concerns is tinderbox conditions from the valley to the mountains. Every small spark runs the risk of potentially starting a catastrophic wildfire.
Fire leaders are urging you to be extremely careful with fire and fireworks. Be mindful where you park and how you discard of cigarettes, Besides the potential for loss of life and property, anyone starting a fire can be held liable for the cost of fighting it, which can easily run several thousand dollars or more an hour. If you see the start of a wildfire, immediately call 911.
Many people have been preparing for the Fourth of July with firework stands reporting good sales so far this year. The big sellers today: snakes, tanks and anything that can be set off during the daylight hours. Operators say they expect a big rush on fountains as the sun starts to set.
Remember in Idaho, any sort of aerial firework is against the law. This includes roman candles, mortars and even bottle rockets. Investigators are expecting another busy night as they crackdown on illegal Fourth of July celebrations. Fire officials say illegal fireworks are the most dangerous and they encourage anyone who sees them to call the police.
It is also important to remember your pets while you are enjoying the fireworks. Pets can be easily startled by the loud noise and the Idaho Humane Society says to make sure they have a collar and easily readable ID tag, or even better, a microchip. Pets should be kept secure and inside and you can use things like the radio or TV to down out the fireworks. Do not take your pets to any fireworks shows.
Idaho State and Boise Police will have extra patrols out all weekend looking for drunk and distracted drivers.
"There's going to be a lot of traffic, especially if you're getting out of town going on some of our two-lane highways such as Highway 55 up towards McCall," said Sergeant Steven Farley, Idaho State Police. "There's just not a lot of room and there's going to be a lot of traffic, so take your time, plan ahead, and the same thing for impaired driving. Plan ahead, get a designated driver."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says across the country, nearly 50 percent of all deadly crashes during the Fourth of July include alcohol.
Have a safe Fourth of July holiday from all of us at Idaho News 6.