Stage II fire restrictions in Yellowstone County and extremely hot, dry conditions around the state are limiting places where you can safely - and legally - light off fireworks this Independence Day. Fireworks retailers are still allowed to sell pyrotechnics though, and one thing buyers will notice this year is the addition of two new products on the shelves available for purchase.

Credit: Black Cat Fireworks

Effective this year, bottle rockets and Roman candles are now allowed in Montana.

For nearly 50 years, bottle rockets and Roman candles have not been allowed at most Montana fireworks stands. The long-standing reason was that the relatively inexpensive fireworks were somehow more dangerous than the 100's of other items you could purchase. I never really understood the logic behind that thought.

Getty Images/Michael Smith

Previously, you would have to travel to a fireworks stand on a Native Reservation.

Until this year, making a run to Pryor or Hardin was the nearest option if you wanted to buy bottle rockets and Roman candles. House Bill 215, introduced by Representative Casey Knudsen (R) from HD33 was signed by Governor Greg Gianforte this spring. The bill removes the wording that excluded Roman candles and bottle rockets on the list of legal pyro in Montana.

Credit: Phantom Fireworks

Are the newly-legal fireworks really more dangerous?

I've always wondered how bottle rockets and Roman candles were considered more dangerous than the missile cakes (like those seen above). Those crazy little screamers fly EVERYWHERE. And Roman Candles are certainly every bit as safe as the big mortars. I've had those fail-to-launch and explode on the ground, and I would much rather have a Roman candle malfunction.

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Michael Foth - Townsquare Media

Laurel says fireworks are ok to light in city limits.

The City of Laurel is apparently disregarding the county-wide ban on private fireworks. Individuals are permitted to light of fireworks on July 2, 3, and 4 from 8 am to 11 am and 9 pm to midnight, except on the 4th when you can light them off till 12:30 am on the 5th. You can read the Mayor's Executive Order HERE.

Do you support the legalization of bottle rockets and Roman candles in Montana? Take our poll below!

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