BUTTE – Friday morning, Montana Resources shot off fireworks near the Berkeley Pit to scare off birds.
The company was testing out a new way of preventing large birds from landing in the toxic waste.
The fireworks were provided by Big Sky Fireworks, and the test took place just after 10 a.m.
Montana Resources Vice President of Human Resources Mike McGivern said the testing of the fireworks was successful and that the technique will be a helpful addition to the use of high-powered rifles to haze birds away.
“The hazing technology of high powered rifles is about 99-plus percent effective, but if we can stop them from getting to the water, it’s just that much advantageous for us,” said McGivern.
Each hour during the day and every four hours during the night, Montana Resources has someone shoot a rifle at the pit water to move any birds that could be resting at the pit. McGivern said the rifles would continue but the fireworks would be used as a preventative measure when the company got word about a large flock headed Butte’s way.