HELENA — Thursday marked the first day that people could buy fireworks ahead of the 4th of July.
MTN News caught up with one Helena 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,” said Bomber Brothers co-owner Bill Fields.
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,” said Helena Fire Marshal Lou Antonick. “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."
Antonick noted 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 many Montana cities as well as on state and federal lands.
People who decide to shoot off fireworks are asked to be considerate of military veterans and pets who may be sensitive to the noise and flashes associated with fireworks.
According to the Missoula County Fire Protection Agency, most fireworks are illegal within Missoula City limits. Exceptions include novelties such as party poppers, snappers, toy smoke devices, snakes and glow worms, and sparklers. Click here for more information.
Fireworks are legal in Missoula County except for in county parks and recreation areas. Click here for additional information.
People who want to report fireworks violations in Missoula County can call (406) 258-4850. People who violate city and county rules could be subject to fines.
Fireworks safety information