Fire safety must be priorityPosted Wednesday, June 29, 2011, at 8:45 AM
Although the southwestern United States is burning to the ground, so far there haven't been any major fires in Idaho.
In fact, historically, southern Idaho -- and this region in particular -- are the areas where wildfires are most common in the entire country.
The desert is rapidly drying out and there is a huge fuel load of grasses there that are just waiting for a spark to ignite them into a major fire.
This time of year is particularly dangerous because of the presence of Fourth of July fireworks. Even legal fireworks can start a fire, but illegal ones are almost certain to do so.
Law enforcement agencies will be cracking down on illegal fireworks this year. The fines can run up to $1,000 for their possession.
Even more importantly, if you start a fire you can be billed for the costs of putting it out. That's not cheap. A small fire can cost several thousand dollars to put out. A big fire can cost millions. It's really not worth it just to hear a loud bang.
And if you want to see something rise in the air and explode, then go enjoy the city fire department's show the evening of July 4. It's spectacular -- and all you'll really need.
In Idaho, there are four seasons -- fall, winter, spring and fire. We're entering the fire season. Let's be particularly careful out there this year.