19-08-28 WD bellevue labor day Roland.jpg

Bellevue’s Labor Day parade—seen here during its last running in 2019—is historically one of the city’s most popular celebrations.

The Bellevue City Council voted to implement a ban on fireworks until Oct. 31 on Monday based on the “severe fire threat” that exists under current drought conditions.

Last week, the Hailey City Council passed a resolution banning firework for the rest of 2021. Blaine County and the city of Ketchum also imposed a ban on fireworks.

“Everybody but Twin Falls and Jerome have passed ordinances like this,” said Bellevue Fire Chief Greg Beaver. “If we don’t, everyone will come to Bellevue to light their fireworks, and we will be putting out small fires every night.”

City Councilwoman Kathryn Goldman said the ban made sense in the face of “absurdly high” fire danger.

The U.S. Forest Service announced this week that the Sawtooth National Forest and Salmon-Challis National Forest advanced from “High” to “Very High” wildfire danger over the weekend due to abnormal heat and abundant dry fuels.

Bellevue City Councilman Chris Johnson cast the lone vote against the ban, citing state law that bans fireworks in areas under a severe fire danger already.

“Are we overreaching?” Johnson said.

City looks to Labor Day

The Bellevue City Council expressed general desires to celebrate Labor Day in some fashion, following a year in which all celebrations were cancelled due to the pandemic.

“I would love to see us have a robust Labor Day weekend celebration this year,” Mayor Ned Burns said.

The holiday is typically one of the city’s hallmark events—and one of its most popular.

So far, former Labor Day organizers Carl and Heather Johnson were not committed to the event this year, which involves booking bands, organizing vendors and planning a parade, Burns said.

Both Burns and Johnson discussed getting their wives involved. City Councilwoman Tammy Davis also stepped forward to help out.

“I’d be happy to help out with that as well,” she said.

Burns called for regular reports throughout the summer on the progress of planning.

“I’d like to see a parade and music in the park,” Burns said, “just like we have always had.”

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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