GREAT FALLS — Independence Day in Great Falls on Monday morning was full of sun and celebration, allowing people to enjoy the downtown parade, while the afternoon and evening saw widespread rain.
The rain cleared in time for the city-sponsored fireworks show, which went off as scheduled at about 10:25 p.m.
The rain proved to be a huge help for Great Falls Fire Rescue, as several inches of rain resulted in zero fireworks-related calls.
There were still plenty of calls for service, but GFFR was pleasantly surprised with the lack of firework incidents, especially since last year was one of their busiest holidays.
“Last night was a very, very calm night for the fire department for a 4th of July. The rain helped us out tremendously,” said GFFR fire marshal Mike McIntosh. “We responded to zero grass fires and zero dumpster fires this year, where the previous year we responded to 43 over the course of the 4th of July.”
Great Falls wasn’t the only town to go without any fireworks mishaps - Vaughn benefited from Mother Nature, too, receiving about a fifth of an inch of rain.
“Surprisingly, we had zero calls, which I can never recall in the history of Vaughn, not having at least half a dozen or more,” said Ken Hanks, Vaughn VFD assistant fire chief. “And normally, you know, leading up to the fourth, we’ll get a bunch of grass fires and even after the fourth, we’ll have grass fires.”
The town of Choteau had to cancel its fireworks display due to rain and lightning during the scheduled time.
The Great Falls Police Department responded to 223 calls for service between 6 a.m. on July 4th and 6 a.m. on July 5th, 42 of which were fireworks complaints, 15 were disturbances, and three were hit and run crashes. There were no DUI arrests.
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