Sheriff says he’ll set up mobile jail in Hungry Horse on July 4th

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Boom! A shell goes off as the crowd watches fireworks in Hungry Horse on July 4 in this file photo. Sheriif Brian Heino is beefing up police presence this year and bringing a mobile jail to town.

Folks are reminded that fireworks are illegal in Columbia Falls as well as state, National Forest and National Park lands this Fourth of July.

Fireworks are, however, legal on private property and other lands in the county, most notably in Hungry Horse, though folks can expect a heightened police presence this Fourth, said Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino.

Hungry Horse Boulevard will be closed to vehicle traffic on the Fourth and folks will be allowed to shoot off fireworks there, but unruliness and criminal behavior will not be tolerated, Heino noted.

“The Sheriff’s Office wishes to embrace this in the spirit of tradition and community. However, because of recent history of criminal activity, dangerous situations and several severe injuries to both citizens and deputies. Extra precautions and response are going to be deployed. Laws will be enforced with a no tolerance policy,” Heino said in a release.

In addition, a mobile jail unit will be utilized, Heino noted.

“It is normally illegal to deploy fireworks on a public roadway, however to embrace this historic event, the sheriff’s office will temporarily allow the safe use of fireworks on Hungry Horse Boulevard,” he said. “Plans are in place however to fully shut down the boulevard to include all use of fireworks if dangerous situations arise.”

In some years, folks have shot off fireworks at passing cars and at nearby gas stations.

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