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Thread: Target practice causing wildfires?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Target practice causing wildfires?

    I think these kinds of incidents can cause more problems for the ability to shoot than even the dumping of junk. I do find it curious that target shooting and fireworks cause so many fires compared to the flicking of cigarette butts that are still glowing. Maybe nobody smokes on BLM land these days. Or maybe there is some political agenda behind what is suspected as the cause and then what does or does not get reported. It is clear the media hates guns and fireworks.

    In any event, perhaps we can help educate ourselves and friends on the potential fire hazard of target shooting. I've been shooting all my life and never seen a gun start a fire. But after hearing about all the fires started at one of the gun ranges, I have taken to being a bit more careful. In addition to not shooting glass, and hauling out any and all garbage, we probably ought to encourage shooters to be prepared to put out a fire before it gets out of control

    I should think an automobile fire extinguisher and a shovel should be sufficient to nip any shooting started wild fire in the bud.


    Full article at:


    UTAH COUNTY Three separate fires, likely caused by gunfire, were contained Sunday in areas around Utah County.


    Two fires were located within five miles of each other, near mile posts 20 and 16 in Saratoga Springs, and burned approximately 6 acres, BLM fire investigator Erin Darboven said.

    A third fire required helicopter assistance and burned 25 acres in Fairfield near the border of Utah and Tooele counties.


    All of the fires are believed to be human caused and resulting from target shooting, although officials are still investigating the specific events that led to the different incidents. Darboven said conditions were very dry and would have taken little more than a spark to ignite the brush.

  2. #2
    Regular Member jpm84092's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

    Thumbs up Good Advice

    Thanks for the good advice Charles. I am going to start carrying a shovel and fire extinguisher with me when I do outdoor shooting.
    My cats support the Second Amendment. NRA Life Member, NRA Instructor: Pistol, Rifle, & Personal Protection - NRA Certified Range Safety Officer, Utah BCI Certified Concealed Firearm Permit Instructor.
    "Permission Slips" from Utah, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida. _ Verily, thou shalt not fiddle with thine firearm whilst in the bathroom stall, lest thine spouse seek condolences from thine friends.

  3. #3
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Quarryville, PA
    When I lived in California there were several wildfires attributed to gunfire. At least one shooter said that he was plinking and one of his rounds struck a spark. That spark then ignited the dry brush which rapidly grew to a much larger fire. I think the above posts have good fire prevention ideas. I would also recommend target shooting only in those areas designated for it where the necessary precautions have been put in place.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  4. #4
    Regular Member colormered's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Cache county, Utah, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    ... I've been shooting all my life and never seen a gun start a fire. But after hearing about all the fires started at one of the gun ranges, I have taken to being a bit more careful ...
    Obviously, Charles, if you had spent more of your life being educated by all the examples coming out of Hollywood on a continuous basis instead of wasting it away with those evil Machines of Death, you would understand how easily fires are started with guns, cars are sent sailing through the air in a collision, etc.

    When I took shop class in junior high, we were taught that in certain circumstances, a brass hammer is used because brass is too soft to strike a spark. Given that lead is softer than brass, this story didn't add up to me, either. But then, years ago when my daughter was in an accident in the canyon, the explanation that the investigating officer came up with for the chain of events that led to the accident defied the laws of physics. Needless to say, over the years I have taken so many "official determinations" with a grain of salt, I am now dealing with a very real battle with hypertension.

  5. #5
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Las Cruces, New Mexico
    Grain of salt? More like 50 lb. bag these days

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