Tips to avoid shooting-related wildfires

Composite stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Taking precautions when shooting firearms might seem like common sense, yet shooting-related incidences continue to be a prominent cause of wildfires in the state, according to a press release from the Wildland Fire Prevention & Education Team in Salt Lake City.

Recreational shooters and hunters can take a few simple steps to do their part to avoid having a fun day at the range turning into a nightmare.

  • Choose a safe location to shoot that is free of rocks and dry vegetation. Many fires have been started by something as small as a ricochet or bullet fragmentation igniting nearby grass.
  • The use of steel-tipped and/or steel core ammunition magnifies the chances of starting a wildfire. Know your ammo. Some locations may have additional restrictions which prohibit the use of steel ammunition.
  • Federally administered public lands have year-round restrictions which prohibit the use of certain types of ammunition and targets. In particular, the use of tracer and incendiary ammunition is not permitted, nor is the use of exploding targets.

Adherence to these restrictions can make a significant impact on Utah’s wildfire occurrences.

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  • Not_So_Much July 3, 2017 at 7:15 am

    In Washington County the best thing you can do is head for the Southern Utah Sports Shooting Park. 500 acres of safe shooting out near the DMV and past the fair grounds. Want more open hours at the park? Then volunteer one or twice a month and problem solved.

  • Badshitzoo July 3, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Not-so-much is right! Half the residents in Washington Co. can shoot right out their back door safely; the other half, have to go out their front door. Trying to convince shooters to pay for a range in the middle of the desert; is like telling surfers on the beach in Cali that the safe bet is in your wave pool.

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