Over the weekend of July 28, the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office reported at least three instances of aerial fireworks being launched and a cannon being set off. Luckily, none of these incidents caused fires, however ....

While that's a nice idea during July 4th, it's unacceptable during Stage II fire restrictions, when the grass is tinder dry and any ember might start a fast-burning fire.

As an example, the Hamilton and Corvallis Fire Departments put out four grass fires along the West Bridge Road west of Hamilton Saturday. Hamilton Fire Chief Brad Mohn determined that a trailer safety chain on an unknown vehicle, dragging on the pavement, probably sparked a series of roadside grass fires. An acre of fire was put out without further damage, due to quick response by the firemen.

Meanwhile, Bitterroot National Forest Fire Management Officer Mark Wilson said nine lightning caused "holdover" fires were fought last week, including the Railroad Creek fire, which was on a ridgetop in the Skalkaho area.

Wilson said the fire was spotted Saturday afternoon July 29. Three helicopters dropped water and two heavy air tankers dropped retardant surrounding the blaze. It was declared out Monday morning after burning about a half-acre.

Fire officials updated the Ravalli County Commissioners Monday morning, with warnings that the weather is requiring even more vigilance by the public.

And no more fireworks!