Fireworks on New Year's Eve are pretty common. The question is, are they legal? The answer might surprise you.

Driving around Missoula on the days leading up to the New Year you might see some familiar firework pop-up shops open for a limited time. Seeing the Missoula night sky light up at the stroke of midnight has been happening ever since I can remember, but are they legal? The short answer is no.

Just like on the 4th of July, the same laws apply on December 31st. A quick search of the Missoula County fireworks laws will give you a simple breakdown.

Fireworks are prohibited on open space lands, all U.S. Forest Service lands, in City and County parks and County-managed recreation areas, and at all Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks fishing access sites. They are legal on private property in Missoula County, but not on any public property. Use that information how you will.

Not *all fireworks are illegal in Missoula County

They might be lame, but there are a few that you can enjoy like party poppers, snappers, toy smoke devices, snakes and glow worms, and sparklers. Basically, anything that isn't going to light a giant fire or cause a noise disturbance.

What happens if you get busted breaking the firework ordinance in Missoula?

If the police do show up you could be in for a fine, and you will have to appear in court. Just for the first offense, you are looking at the confiscation of the illegal property, court costs, and a $100 fine.

A full list of the definition of fireworks, exceptions, penalties, and other questions can be answered at the official Missoula county website.

However you plan on ringing in 2023, please do it safely, and Happy New Year!

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