Tis the season to celebrate America’s Fourth of July birthday bash, especially with fireworks.
But it’s important to remember fireworks are illegal on all Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ lands.
Every year around the Fourth of July, people buy fireworks, then look for a place out of town to shoot them off. The local fishing access site or wildlife management area presents an inviting spot.
Don’t do it.
FWP properties are off limits to fireworks.
Anyone using fireworks on FWP lands may be charged with a misdemeanor that can result in a fine up to $500.
So have fun on July Fourth. Visit a fishing access site or wildlife management area, just leave the fireworks at home.
FROM THE CITY OF MISSOULA:
The Missoula City Council and Mayor John Engen have asked for vigorous enforcement this year in response to complaints from citizens. Fireworks are upsetting to war veterans; cause many lost and injured dogs, creating Missoula Animal Control’s busiest day of the year; cause injuries and are part of hospital emergency departments’ busiest day of the year; start fires, endangering property in town and bringing the risk of wildland fires; and generally disturb the peace.
Police Department and Fire Department leaders have responded by scheduling extra police officers and firefighters during the holiday week, beginning Monday evening. The Fireworks Report Line, operated by the emergency dispatchers at the city-county Office of Emergency Management’s Missoula 9-1-1 Center, is operating July 1-7. To report violations, call 258-4850.
The Missoula City Council recently approved revisions to the City’s fireworks ordinance. Firefighters as well as police officers have the authority to issue citations. The penalties are $100 plus court costs for a first offense and $300 plus court costs for a second offense during the same calendar year as the first offense.
Professional public displays, which are allowed by permit from the Missoula Fire Department chief, are done safely at pre-determined times and are short in duration. Public displays in Missoula will be held on July 3 at the civic stadium after the Osprey baseball game and on July 4 at Southgate Mall.
Mayor Engen explains the City’s reasoning behind the stepped-up enforcement in this interview with KPAX.
You can report violations by calling 406-258-4850