HELENA — There is a strict policy concerning fireworks during Independence Day for Helena residents.
Due to drier weather this spring and high winds, a zero-tolerance policy was established by the Helena Police Department and Fire Station One for lighting any fireworks of any kind over the next two weeks.
Anyone caught violating the ordinance will be cited and could face a fine up to $500.
Fireworks sales in Lewis and Clark County began Monday, June 24. Helena City Code prohibits lighting off fireworks of any kind within city limits, which includes the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds.
Police and fire officials said the pyrotechnics can be dangerous and instigate a substantial risk on brush fires where foliage and buildings are within proximity.
The Helena Police Department and Fire Station One are teaming-up with extra staff for the holiday.
Fire Marshal, Lou Antonick, spoke to MTN about the dangers of lighting off fireworks.
Antonick said, “The concern we have obviously is both from a fire standpoint because it’s so easy with the structures or brushes, or trees, or grass, to start fires. And there’s been significant fires that have happened in the Helena area as a result of fireworks.”
“Fireworks can be dangerous in a city like this, with all the buildings and houses around and all the foliage we have around the city,” Helena Police Officer, Monica Kuehn stated, “It’s just safer to be out in a little more open area. It’s safer for people to light off their fireworks and the city of Helena is not that place.”
-Reported by Christine Sullivan/MTN News