Lewiston Fire Dept. and LPD gear up for Fourth of July holiday weekend

LEWISTON, ID - The Fourth of July holiday is a time that many look forward to every year, but celebrations with fireworks in Lewiston could easily spark trouble for you and your home.

Reporter Sophia Miraglio has some tips to make your holiday safer and keep you on the right side of the law.

As Americans gear up to celebrate their Independence on Friday, police and firefighters are doing the same. They're preparing for an influx of injuries and fires during one of the busiest holiday weekends of every year.

"We have a string of very warm days in front of us, it's going to dry out the vegetation and that's a concern for us," said Lewiston Fire Dept. Interim Chief Travis Myklebust. "Due to that concern we will have additional fire crews that will be out. Our goal is to quickly get crews on a fire to keep them small."

According to The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of four people are killed, and more than 9,000 are injured because of fireworks, a statistic that police Chief Steve Orr is trying to avoid.

"We have extra patrols assigned over the entire weekend," said Orr. "I would like to see a Fourth of July holiday with no injuries, no fires, no property damage."

The State of Idaho has tougher restrictions on firework use, than several other states.

"A violator could receive a citation up to $300, but we are confiscating the illegal fireworks and that has been a deterrent to a lot of people because fireworks are expensive especially the illegal ones," said Orr.

Despite a ban on many fireworks, there's still a lot of options for families to enjoy. All firework stands within the city limits only sell legal fireworks. So if you have any question at all the best tip is just to buy local.

"The rule is you only can use safe and sane fireworks within the city of Lewiston," said Myklebust. "So one of the easiest things if it goes up and goes boom, it's probably not legal in the city limits."

At this time, Fire danger remains high. However, there are things you can do to lower that risk.

"Grass is cut down so we don't have tall grass right up next to the house, shrubs are trimmed up, and like I said they may look green but inside they're extremely dry," said Myklebust.

Nationally, more than one-billion dollars are spent on fireworks each year, and as of right now the only firework stand set up in Lewiston is in the Rosauers parking lot.