BUTTE — As people start buying fireworks here in Butte ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, those that run the fireworks stands expect business to be, well, exploding.
“It’s going to be a great year. I think people are ready to shoot off fireworks and stuff and celebrate Independence Day and I think it’s going to be a really good year,” said Jerry’s Fireworks Co-owner Joe Quinn.
With hot and dry weather expected throughout next week, fire officials are asking people to celebrate with care, because conditions are right for potential wildfires.
“And as much as everyone wants to celebrate the Fourth of July and celebrate America—I appreciate that—a large fire in the area does not make for much of a celebration,” said Jim King of the U.S. Forest Service.
Fireworks are not allowed in national forest areas. Still, fires can happen anywhere and fireworks stand owners encourage people to always be safe.
“Use their heads, you know, don’t go out in a big field where there’s a bunch of grass. Do them on the pavement or the sidewalk and always have a hose handy,” said Jerry’s Fireworks Co-owner Ginny Mullaney.
Fireworks stands have also been dealing with supply shortages nationally after shipments from China have been delayed. Stand owners say shoppers should come out early.
“We do have a pretty good inventory, our inventory is about what it typically is, but there will be some things that we probably won’t have. It’ll be kind of hit and miss,” said Quinn.
Montana didn’t get a very wet spring this year and there’s a lot of dry fuels out there, so fire officials are saying people need to be really cautious.
“We haven't been this high, this early since 2002 and the entire western U.S. are in various stages of drought currently and we’re only in the end of June. So, as a country, we’re going to have a very long, potentially very busy fire season ahead of us,” said King.
Fireworks sales in Butte begin Thursday and continue until the 4th of July.