Despite intense lobbying by state fire chiefs, the House State Affairs Committee voted 6-9 to censor the printing of legislation that would help prevent fires caused by the sale of illegal fireworks in Idaho.  The vote caused Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan to express his frustration to the media:

“I would like to thank Rep Erpelding for his leadership on this issue. It was clear by the actions of the committee today they do not care about firefighter safety, or if people’s homes and lives are being destroyed by illegal fireworks every year. The exorbitant cost to taxpayers and local governments, and the fact that six homes in Ada County were burned down last year, was not enough to influence their decision to print a bill which would allow a full hearing and dialogue about this important issue.

“The ability to purchase illegal fireworks apparently trumps the right of residents to protect their home from fires. This summer when someone’s home burns down due to aerial fireworks you can blame the House State Affairs Committee,” stated Chief Doan.

The 2,500-acre Table Rock fire last June, which was caused by illegal fireworks, cost taxpayers $341,000.

Representative Erpelding gave his thoughts on the bill with us this morning.  You can hear his comments beginning at 11 minutes.

We've had the opportunity to discuss this legislation during our morning show.  Do you agree with Chief Doan or the lawmakers?  Vote here!