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New Year's fireworks sales to open in Montana; firefighters urge caution

Posted at 2:14 PM, Dec 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 20:11:51-05

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 Dec. 29 and Dec. 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.

Local 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.