While thousands of people thrilled at the sight of fireworks extravaganzas throughout the Treasure Valley—most of them managed by professionals—a fireworks-related nightmare haunted a Nampa subdivision in the waning hours of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Nampa firefighters said fireworks were likely to blame for a blaze that destroyed a large home in the Whisperwood Place subdivision. Investigators said the fire sparked on the roof and quickly engulfed the entire home. Two residents were able to escape unhurt.
Nampa firefighters said they spent the better part of Monday evening responding to fireworks-related incidents and confiscating multiple bags of illegal fireworks. Bottle rockets, mortars and other high-flying fireworks are sold throughout Canyon County, even though Idaho law prohibits such fireworks from being ignited in the Gem State.
The Nampa blaze came several days after fireworks triggered another large fire, scorching more than 2,500 acres of the Boise Foothills near Table Rock. That fire destroyed two structures, including one home. Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan has already announced he intends to lobby the Idaho Legislature to ban the statewide sale of any fireworks that are deemed illegal to use in Idaho.
Meanwhile, nearly 150 firefighters are battling the Buck Fire, eight miles east of Deadwood Reservoir, in the Boise National Forest. The fire has grown to 780 acres, requiring five crews, six engines, several helicopters, air tankers, and the Boise Hot Shots. The forest service has closed off junctions of County Road 579 and National Forest roads 582, 591, 510 and 563.
Wildland firefighters manned the front lines of a brush fire Monday night on Little Freeze Out Hill, south of Emmett. Three engines and a bulldozer were called in to support the battle. No word yet on a cause.
The so-called "3-Mile Fire," burning in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, is only 15 percent contained and fire officials said two 20-person crews are working to contain that blaze, which has burned 15 acres thus far.
Two more wildfires, one that has burned 30 acres and another that has burned 20 acres, were also reported in the Salmon-Challis National Forest over the holiday weekend. All of those fires were sparked by lightning strikes.