Fire chief expected to break tradition for 4th of July - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Fire chief expected to break tradition for 4th of July

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

According to the Billings Fire Fighters Facebook page, Chief Paul Dextras has decided not to put barricades off public lands on the Rims for the Fourth of July this year. Residents who live right below the Rims said they are not happy about the decision the chief made. Many of the residents said they are shocked  the barricades will not be put up this year.


Assistant Fire Chief Bill Rash said public lands on the Rims have been closed around the Fourth of July since 1991.
"Historically, we put barricades up that are posted to prohibit access to the Rims area completely," Rash said.


Bill Rash explained why Chief Dextras decided to allow the public lands on the Rims to be opened this year as a test.
"If we find that it's successful in our determination, then that's a great thing," Rash said. "It all comes back to our public and cooperating with us, with the law, and helping us to do that. Then it would be accessible going forward potentially and allowing everybody to go up there and enjoy themselves within the parameters of our ordinance. If things are not successful, then we would anticipate us reverting back to what we've done since 1991."


Many of the residents who live right below the Rims are not happy about the decision and think it is unwise.
"I would like him to rethink that decision," Richard King, who lives right below the Rims, said. "We have had a couple of fires up in the Rims area here in the past and it can be quite dangerous."


Other residents said they don't mind.
"If police and fire don't find it to be a problem and they feel that's it's safe, obviously," Rick Emerick, another resident who lives right below the Rims, said. "If there's a fire, the fire department will take care of it."


Bill Rash wanted to remind everyone that any fireworks that are discharged within the city of Billings is prohibited and is subject to a criminal penalty.

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