With little to no rain in the forecast over the coming days, the Pocatello Fire and Police Departments are reminding residents of the importance of celebrating the Fourth of July responsibly when it comes to fireworks.
Currently, Pocatello and the surrounding area have a Severe Fire Danger level of “High,” according to the United States Forest Service. Due to the current conditions, firefighters are asking residents to keep fire risks in mind and to keep their fireworks displays “Safe and Sane.”
“2012’s Charlotte Fire is a prime example of how – in these conditions – a fire can start and spread rapidly,” said Kim Stouse, Community Relations/Education Specialist for the Pocatello Fire Department. “Every year, fireworks cause thousands of fires across the United States. We don’t want to see Pocatello on that list.”
To keep your festivities “Safe and Sane,” firefighters have the following tips:
- Buy only those fireworks that are legal for the City of Pocatello.
- Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks – instead, soak them with water and throw them away.
- Do not ignite fireworks in a container.
- Do not give fireworks to small children, and closely supervise older children.
- Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from houses and flammable materials, and keep a bucket of water or a water supply nearby for emergencies.
- Light all fireworks with a long-handled lighter, jumbo punk or a flare.
- Allow adequate time for the fireworks to cool prior to disposing.
- Make sure all the fireworks are dead out and there is nothing smoldering in the area.
Firefighters would also like to add:
- Fireworks are banned in the Wildland-Urban Interface portions of Pocatello. To view a map that highlights the areas where fireworks are prohibited, visit https://bit.ly/35YrluL.
- Pets and fireworks do not mix. Many pets become stressed and fearful during this season and will try to hide or run away from the noise and lights. Make sure your pet has somewhere safe and secure to hide.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
Under Pocatello City Code 15.10.040, citizens who light off illegal fireworks can be cited with a misdemeanor. Additionally, citizens may be held financially responsible for any damages that occur from improper firework use.
“We want to make sure that everyone has a safe holiday weekend,” said Lieutenant John Walker of the Pocatello Police Department. “No one wants to be the person responsible for starting a fire that takes a home or causes someone to lose their life.”
Citizens are encouraged to adhere to these guidelines as officers stress there will be zero-tolerance for the use of illegal fireworks and lighting of fireworks in banned areas. Citizens are encouraged to report violations they observe to Dispatch at 208-234-6100.