The Billings Fire Department plans to close public areas along the Rims as well as Zimmerman Park and Phipps Park during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.
According to a press release from the department, the closures will include the public lands along the Rims from Main Street in the Heights, along the south side of Highway 3, to and including Zimmerman Park.
Closures will begin at 6 a.m. on Saturday, July 4 and remain in effect until the morning of Sunday, July 5.
Vehicle, bike and pedestrian access is prohibited during that period. The Billings Police Department, Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol, Airport Police and Billings Fire Department will have active patrols along the closed areas.
The fire department also reminded residents that the Billings Montana City Code prohibits the sale, use and possession of fireworks within the city limits.
At this time, one public fireworks display is planned in Billings located at the MetraPark upper parking lot.
The sale, use, and possession of fireworks is legal in county areas outside the city limits. However, the department advised the use of caution when using fireworks in rural areas. Those using fireworks should be aware of their surroundings and obtain permission when entering private property.
In addition to obeying local laws and using common sense, other safety measures recommended by the department include:
- Using fireworks outdoors only.
- Having water (hose or bucket of water) nearby.
- Using fireworks as intended, not altering or combining them.
- Never re-lighting a “dud” firework; waiting 20 minutes then soaking the dud in a bucket of water).
- Using fireworks in green areas away from dry grass, forests and structures.
- Adult supervision of children.
- Keeping unused fireworks away from firing areas.
- Never having any portion of a body directly over a firework while lighting.