Though it would probably be preferable to enjoy a smaller, longer-lasting and quieter fire, the city of Havre has approved the loud, explosive and celebratory variety for a few hours on New Year’s Eve.
When the Havre City Council created a new fireworks law last year, the main focus was on the Fourth of July and regulating the sale, possession and use of fireworks in the noisy days surrounding the nation’s birthday.
But a two-sentence provision allowed for a limited window of fiery festivities deep in the winter.
“Fireworks may be discharged on December 31 from ten o'clock (10:00) P. M. to twelve thirty o'clock (12:30) A. M. January 1, ” the ordinance reads. “Fireworks may not be sold within the incorporated city limits except as provided. ”
The city has not provided any exceptions. Fireworks can’t be sold.
And it is still illegal to set off “skyrockets, roman candles, and bottle rockets, ” while permitted fireworks “are limited to, those that meet the definition of ‘common fireworks’ as set forth in the U. S. department of transportation's hazardous materials regulations. ”
Havre Fire Chief Dave Sheppard said “we don’t normally see many fireworks on New Year’s Eve, ” but implored anyone considering them to be safe.
“Just be cautious in using them, ” Sheppard said. “Obviously with snow on the ground it’s a little different, but we could still run into problems. The main thing is to remember that everything is extinguished before you put it in a dumpster. ”
Sheppard said the department does see dumpster fires, mostly from unextinguished wood stove ash, and that firework remains required similar caution.
He also said anyone igniting fireworks needs to pick up any trash they make.
Anyone breaking any part of the law, either shooting off fireworks outside the allotted time or leaving their trash out, could face fines from $100 to $1,000.