HELENA — With the New Year approaching, Montanans will soon be able to purchase fireworks for the holiday.
Fireworks stands can open their doors again Sunday – and some were already set up Saturday to be ready. State law allows fireworks to be sold between December 29 and December 31.
If you are planning to ring in the new year with fireworks, keep your local rules in mind. In Helena, authorities do not allow anyone to set fireworks off within city limits – including at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds. Firefighters are also reminding people to make sure that they use fireworks only in a clear area – and keep an eye on where any pieces land.
“It’s just like in the summertime: When you shoot those fireworks, know where they’re going to fall,” said Tri-Likes Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bob Drake. “They’re going to fall from the sky on fire, hot, and if it lands in the grass, it will start the grass on fire.”
In places like the Helena Valley, there isn’t much snow cover so far this year. Drake said, if vegetation goes a number of days with low humidity and no substantial precipitation, it can still become fuel for a fire. “We’re just asking people to be careful,” he said. “Every one of us wants to have a good time at New Year’s, and pulling a bunch of volunteer firefighters out of their New Year’s celebration isn’t any fun for us either.”
Drake also recommends anyone who’s setting off fireworks have a fire extinguisher ready, especially at this time. “This time of year, it’s pretty hard to have garden hoses running,” he said.
People discharging fireworks within Great Falls city limits must follow the City’s Fireworks Ordinance which will be enforced by the City’s police officers and firefighters. Residents can learn more about the City’s Fireworks Ordinance and rules and regulations relating to fireworks by clicking here . Primary rules and regulations include:
- Fireworks may be discharged on December 31, from 10:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on January 1.
- Children 9 and younger partaking in the firework festivities must have a supervising adult within 10 feet, in order to control the application of flame or other means to discharge the firework.
- Residents should only discharge fireworks on private property (sidewalk leading to your residence and or driveway) and should clean up any trash left behind.