Kootenai County not banning fireworks this weekend

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho. — If you live in Kootenai County, the sheriff wants you to celebrate the Fourth of July responsibly. That means going to watch fireworks this weekend instead of lighting them off at home.

Kootenai County Sheriff Robert Norris says, despite the dangerous fire conditions that are being seen right now, he does not support banning fireworks for the citizens of the county.

“I’ve been fighting fires for 30 years as a wildland firefighter and this is some of the most extreme conditions that we’ve seen in north Idaho, this is serious business. We have shut down burning,” said Brian Hicks from the Department of Lands.

The state was not mincing words when it comes to the current climate the region finds itself in right now. However, Norris defended his decision to not ban all fireworks this 4th of July weekend.

“We believe at this point in time that asking for your cooperation in this, is the best thing that we can do,” said Norris.

The fireworks that will be allowed in the county are those deemed safe. So items like fountains, sparklers, and other novelties are still allowed. Anything that explodes or goes up more than 20 feet in the air like fire crackers or rockets aren’t. If you are caught it will land you a misdemeanor offense, not to mentioned the cost of clean up if you do start a fire.

“A big fire engine, a brush vehicle that every department has, you add in a helicopter and you put in an airplane that’s doing drops and you’re in the multi-thousands per hour,” said Fire Chief Pat Riley.

Instead of lighting them off at home, the sheriff wants you to go to the various professional shows around the county, and adds there are more than a dozen to choose from.

The fireworks on Lake Coeur d’Alene will begin on Sunday evening at dusk and is free to the public.

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