Fireworks have been an integral part of our nation's celebration of its independence since the earliest days of the republic.
Everyone enjoys a good fireworks show, and the local fire department puts on one of the best in the region the evening of July 4 at the golf course. It is well worth going to watch.
But many people also purchase their own fireworks to set off on the Fourth of July, and sometimes, that can cause problems.
All fireworks are dangerous and should be handled carefully. Set them off on concrete/asphalt areas or your lawn. Don't let children handle them unless directly supervised by an adult. Don't ever take them out onto the desert or the mountains -- conditions are too dry.
And whatever you do, use only approved "safe and sane" fireworks, like the ones you can buy at stands in the city. Illegal fireworks are essentially any device that flies into the air or explodes. You can get in a lot of trouble using those, and the ban on those types of fireworks is in place for a number of very good reasons. You really don't need them to enjoy the Fourth of July.
Remember that it also is illegal not only to use, but to possess any fireworks on virtually all state and federal lands in Idaho. If you start a fire using fireworks you can be held liable for the full costs of fighting the fire, as well as any other civil claims that might be filed against you. This isn't chump change. Fighting a fire can cost anywhere from $10,000 for a small one to millions of dollars for a large one. If you see someone using illegal fireworks, or setting any type off in an area where they shouldn't, report it immediately. It could save lives and property.
Enjoy the Fourth of July.
But remember that this also is the start of the fire season and there is a lot of rapidly drying "fuel" out there where the smallest spark could trigger a blaze.
Let's keep this a safe holiday.