Laurel Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brent Peters said Tuesday afternoon that restrictions on fireworks are on a county-by-county basis, and Laurel is allowing fireworks at certain times of the day leading up to the Fourth of July.
Some confusion around the state has surfaced as to where fireworks can be used in Montana.
With the recent heat wave that has caused temperate to be unusually high this time of, fire risks are just as high.
Laurel is known for its firework shows at Thomson Park each year on the Fourth of July, which will remain unchanged, but residents of the city are able to have their own shows within city limits as well.
Peters said these independent firework shows need to be done safely.
“If you're shooting off fireworks, please don't shoot them off on dry grass. Obviously make sure you have a water source there, extinguish your fireworks after you shoot them, be able to put out any small fires and call the Fire Department early If you do set something on fire. In the city of Laurel, we have a restriction that no one under the age of 12 can shoot off fireworks, without the supervision of adults. Be safe and be smart,” said Peters.
While shooting off fireworks is legal in Laurel, there are restrictions on the time of day.
On days other than the Fourth of July, people can shoot of fireworks between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., and 9 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.
On the fourth, those night hours are extended from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Peters said that since people within the city limits have been able to set off fireworks, calls to the fire department have subsided drastically.
“In previous years we ran up to 25 calls on the day of the Fourth. Since we legalized fireworks in the city limits, we run three to four calls on the day of the Fourth,” said Peters.
Peters said that each county in Montana has its own fire and fireworks restrictions.
Yellowstone County is under stage two restrictions. This prohibits, outside of city limits, burning of any kind, firepits, internal combustion engines between the hours of 1 a.m. and 1 p.m. and no fireworks.
The restrictions for other Montana counties can be found on your city and county websites.