HELENA — June 24th marks the first day folks can purchase fireworks ahead of the 4th of July. MTN caught up with one vendor preparing for another exciting year, despite the pandemic still lingering.
“Nobody is coming here in a bad mood because it’s all about going out, making some bangs, and having fun,” says Bill Fields, Co-owner of Bomber Brothers in Helena.
Fields and his brother have been selling fireworks for years and are preparing for another season. Despite the pandemic, they had their best year in 2020.
“[In 2020] when we had the pandemic going on, people were pretty excited to get fireworks because people can get out and social distance and have fun,” says Fields. “I think we brought a lot of new people back to lighting out fireworks [in 2020]."
Fields credits isolation and COVID-19 restrictions for bringing in more fireworks newcomers in 2020 and he expects many of them to return again this time around, which is why the Helena Fire Marshal says it’s a good time to learn safety precautions around fireworks.
“Fireworks are very popular and we already know that,” says Lou Antonick, Fire Marshal. “We're never gonna get ahead of that pace but the best we can do is try to instill as much safety as we can into being around or using fireworks."
The Fire Marshal says that if you are lighting fireworks, to be aware of your surroundings whether that may be trees, grass, even people and animals. He says if you are going to have fireworks, to have equipment to put out a fire, just in case.
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission,10,000 people suffered injuries from fireworks in 2019. Nearly 40% of them were children under 15 years old.
Fireworks are prohibited in the City of Helena, and on state and federal lands.
They can be lit in Lewis & Clark County July 2nd - 6th from the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. If you do shoot off fireworks, please be considerate of military veterans and pets who may be sensitive to the noise and flashes associated with fireworks.