Missoula Council Allows Sparklers, Smoke Bombs in New Fireworks Law

Now, residents can celebrate the holidays with sparklers, snakes and smoke bombs in the city of Missoula without breaking the law.

On Monday, the Missoula City Council adopted an updated fireworks ordinance. This is a tiny change, as most fireworks remain illegal inside Missoula city limits, but Councilman Dave Strohmaier said the revised law does allow quieter, less disturbing ones.

Strohmaier said that the new law distinctly defines types of fireworks that are easily distinguishable from others that might make noise and bother other residents. During the public comment phase, a health official opposed sparklers, but several people in residential areas testified in favor of fireworks, such as Joe Yakawich, who said adults and schoolchildren alike enjoy fireworks on Independence Day.

Jim Carlson, an environmental health director for the Missoula City-Council Health Department, asked the council to prevent the use of sparklers to keep children safe. He advised that sparklers burn at degrees no less 1,800  fahrenheit and upwards of 3,000 degrees.

According to Carlson, as many as 50 percent of fireworks injuries are sustained by children under the age of 5 who are using sparklers.

In opposition to Carlson’s statements, Strohmaier said:

“We don’t need another law to protect the children when it’s the parents’ job in the first place to protect them.”

The council also set a public hearing on December 9th to amend an ordinance on “going out of business” sales and other stock sales in Missoula.

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