The City of Missoula  is reminding  residents and visitors that fireworks are illegal within the city limits, as well as in county parks and in forested lands throughout the state.

The City’s Independence Day safety and education campaign, “This Isn’t Rocket Science,” encourages the public to continue the Fourth of July tradition safely. Long-established ordinances  banning the use of fireworks within the city limits are in place to increase safety for all residents and
to decrease personal injuries and property loss in fires. Fireworks traumatize pets and lead to lost  dogs after the dogs run in fear. They also disrupt sleep and disturb neighbors.

In Missoula, Parks personnel spend many hours cleaning up fireworks debris in the days following the holiday. To report illegal fireworks activity within the city limits during the holiday, call the fireworks
report line at 258-4850. The report line is operating and will remain online through July 5.

The Missoula 911 Center will be receiving calls through the report line, and we urge the public to use the  report line for all fireworks complaints and to dial 911 for emergencies.

 Missoula Police Department and Missoula Fire Department staff members will team up in  special patrol units to respond to fireworks-related calls from Friday, July 1, through Monday, July 4.

Public fireworks displays have been permitted by the City at the Osprey game Friday  evening, July 1, and at Southgate Mall on July 4 in the evening. These events are run by  licensed and insured professionals.

According to national statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, in 2009  fireworks used by individuals caused 18,000 reported fires and $38 million in direct property damage
and sent 8,800 people to hospital emergency rooms; 42 percent of the injuries were to the head and  53 percent to extremities.

 Story by Public Information/Communications Officer, Ginny Merriam