We had a long cold winter in Western Montana, and a seemingly longer cold spring. Fireworks should be no problem this year, right?
Although the late snow melt has been helpful in keeping fire danger low so far this year, the excess water in the valleys gave an assist to local vegetation, helping it grow. This means fires have an even greater chance to get out of control; one small spark can ignite hundreds or thousands of acres.

Credit: Benny Edwin
Credit: Benny Edwin
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SHOWN: complex fire tinder (possibly)

We've covered possible legal fines for improper fireworks use, but let's give you some pointers to keep yourself and the rest of Montana safe when lighting fireworks this year, thanks to the Missoula Rural Fire District.

A responsible adult should supervise all fireworks

This includes storage before the 4th. Keep them away from children, no sense in an unexpected BOOM before the big night.

Wear safety glasses when lighting fireworks

You don't want to know what it's like to be blind in one eye (or both)

Light fireworks outside

"Indoor Fireworks" is a fine song by Elvis Costello, and it should stay a song, not an IRL event.

Don't relight "dud" fireworks. Douse in water if it doesn't go off after 20 minutes

Failure to follow these directions is how people get nicknames like "Stumpy."

ALWAYS have a bucket of water or a working garden hose nearby

Have water nearby. Have water nearby. Have water nearby. Have water nearby. Have water nearby. Have water nearby. Have water nearby. Have water nearby. Have water nearby. We really can't stress this enough.

Dispose of spent fireworks in a noncombustible storage bin

This means metal bin, preferably with a lid. Don't put spent fireworks in plastic bags, paper bags...anything that can be ignited.

Remember that all fireworks should be handled with care and respect for the damage they can cause to life, limb and property.