Communities differ in fireworks ordinancesSome area counties and towns are ready to sparkle during the Fourth of July, but allowing their citizens to use fireworks during specific days and times, while others choose not to allow them.
By: Beth Wischmeyer, The Dickinson Press
Some area counties and towns are ready to sparkle during the Fourth of July, but allowing their citizens to use fireworks during specific days and times, while others choose not to allow them.
Dickinson doesn’t allow fireworks and encourages residents to see the public display, said Bob Sivak, Dickinson Fire Department chief.
“Anything other than the public display is not allowed,” Sivak said. “But it’s very difficult to enforce.”
Last year, Sivak said use of fireworks was rampant.
“It seemed like the whole community lit up — some just weren’t aware of the law,” Sivak said. “The use of fireworks is not declining but we do our best to inform the public. The fact that we’re not under a burn ban this year does help.”
On Independence Day in a typical year, more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for half of those fires — according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Those caught using fireworks must appear before a judge where a fine may ordered, said Dickinson Police Chief Chuck Rummel.
Due to the amount of calls regarding other items, response to incidents of fireworks use is sometimes slower, Rummel said.
Belfield and Beach are a few of the communities that do allow use of fireworks, but only during specific times.
Belfield residents can use fireworks from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on July 2 and 3 and on July 4, residents can use them from 8 a.m. until Midnight, said Larry Johnson, Belfield police chief.
Last year, no fireworks were allowed due to a burn ban, Johnson said.
Those that are caught in Belfield using fireworks in times other than established will have their fireworks confiscated, he added.
“If it’s a problem I can cite them into court,” Johnson said.
In Beach, residents can use fireworks from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. from July 3-5, said Scott Steele, sheriff with the Golden Valley Sheriff’s Department.
Violators could face a $25 fine, he added.
“Every year we have a few, most of them are unaware of the ordinance,” Steele said. “We don’t typically have any major problems. People are pretty good about it.”
Curt Van Vleet, who resides in California for a majority of the year, comes back to Beach to run a fireworks stand with his family outside Beach.
“We’ve been doing it for about three years,” Van Vleet said. “There was a guy that was running the stand before and decided he was going to get out of the business, so my dad jumped on it.”
The majority of customers come from Montana, Van Vleet said.
This year’s public fireworks display is set to be held at the Dickinson State University Outdoor Arena at 10 p.m. on Saturday.