This spring in the Treasure Valley has been a bit unconventional. Boise was stunned by at least half an inch of snow sticking to the ground on May 9. June’s been almost as weird. 

Billy Jenkins, Townsquare Media
Billy Jenkins, Townsquare Media
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For several weeks, we’ve seen some toasty temperatures during the week and then have been plagued by storms on the weekends. Eventually this weird weather pattern will break and we’ll see plenty of sunny, 90+ degree days. When those days do happen, don’t make this dangerous mistake. 

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In 2017, a video from Idaho Power went viral after a video warning created by one of their Stations Battery Techs went viral. As the tech tells the story, he took an early lunch break in his vehicle and noticed smoke rising from the passenger seat of his car. Like so many of us do in the summer, he had tossed a full plastic water bottle there. Sunlight beamed through the driver’s side window and focused to a single point as it refracted through the bottle. 

YouTube/Idaho Power
YouTube/Idaho Power
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If you ever used a magnifying glass to burn ants on your driveway or newspaper in science class when you were younger, it’s the same action. In the case of the Idaho Power Tech, the light was focused long enough to start burning through the upholstery. After doing a double take, the tech moved the water bottle and realized that it had left two small burn marks on his seat. 

YouTube/Idaho Power
YouTube/Idaho Power
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Idaho Power crews tried to repeat the scenario to test just how hot things got by using a non-contact thermometer. They recorded a temperature of 213 degrees at one point. 

YouTube/Idaho Power
YouTube/Idaho Power
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A few years after the Idaho Power video took off, a Central New York Firefighter did a news story with WSTM-TV where he demonstrated how water bottles could start a fire in your vehicle. During the story he said fires like this were most common in situations where there is low humidity and dry heat…two things that Boise just happens to be famous for. 

We just started getting back into a gym routine and have been terrible about leaving plastic water bottles all over our vehicle. Seeing this video again has convinced us to be more responsible! 

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