Wildfires caused by target shooting?

Discussion in 'Second Amendment & Legal' started by havik72, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. havik72

    havik72 Senior Member

    Here in Utah we have just had our 5th of about 13 wildfires that has been attributed to target shooting this season. Out here lots of target shooting occurs in wilderness areas, rather than in shooting ranges. That being said, I am concerned of regulations that will surely follow restricting target shooting due to possible fires. I have shot my entire life, and I have never seen evidence that would suggest fires are started by target shooting and associated ricochets...not that it couldn't happen, but 5 times in one season in one state? Seems very odd to me.

    So my question is have any of you seen evidence that would suggest target shooting could be the cause of so many fires? I can see the news spots now...we need to control where people can shoot because they clearly can't make smart decisions to avoid ricochets on their own.

    BLCKWLF GrassHopper

    Here in Phoenix at Ben Avery's shooting range the mountainside was set aflame by a ricochet several years ago. They called in two helicopters and several tankers. The person who fired the shot, because they were purposely shooting above the safety berm, ended up with paying the cost, damages, and fuel and supplies to put out the fire, plus fines. They are still paying for it.

    All BLM and State Game and Fish land in AZ is closed for shooting due to the extreme fire danger. Ben Avery shooting range also has a fire ban and won't even allow BBQs.

  3. havik72

    havik72 Senior Member

    Wow!!! I've heard of fires caused by tracers, and fires caused by shooting exploding targets like aerosol cans, etc, but never simple ricochets.

    Thanks for the info.
  4. kodiak

    kodiak Active Member

    You guys using tracers and pyro up there or something?
  5. cutlass327

    cutlass327 New Member

    If the bullet has anything ferrous in it, it could cause a spark on ricochet... And not knowing ranges very well, how many allow the fancy stuff like tracers? If you aren't allowed to shoot them 'legally' they may look to the woods for target practice...

    BLCKWLF GrassHopper

    Tracers aren't allowed at any shooting ranges here in AZ. In places like AZ, where we have more rocks than dirt, it is more likely to have sparks off ricochets or stray shots.
  7. SeventiesWreckers

    SeventiesWreckers Load Bearing Wall

    It's pretty common out here in western Nevada, also in So Cal. Usually when the fire index is up the wind is also up, so we self police & just hold off shooting for a couple of days till conditions are better. In Southern Calif it's not uncommon for public lands to be put off limits in the late summer. It's been that way since I was a kid. Not just shooting though, dirt bikes, 4wd's, camping, & so on. I just go fishing at the river.
  8. GlockIt

    GlockIt Carry on my friends!!!!

    I've set ablaze .75 acres of my back yard using tracers once and started a 15ft brush fire once in my back yard with the same 5.56 tracers. They both took about 2hrs each to exstinguish.
  9. MarinewithaGlock

    MarinewithaGlock Premium Member

    I was on a range with the Marine Corps in FT. Knox. We were shooting MK-19s and we set the range on fire with HEDP rounds. Burnt most of the range down. Range Control just told us to let it burn since there was unexploded ordinance on the range. We continued shooting until the fire got too close then packed up and left. High-Explosive, Dual Purpose rounds against a field of tanks make a lot of sparks.

    Attached Files:

  10. brutusvk

    brutusvk New Member

    They just arrested a guy today in connection with the "sunflower fire" in AZ. He was supposedly target shooting using incinerary rounds. (sp? too lazy to look it up lol)

    BLCKWLF GrassHopper


    A fire was just started here in AZ… these guys are gonna have a hefty bill to pay…

    JULY 2, 2012
    DOCUMENT: Stupid, CrimeGiant Wildfire Started During Bachelor Party
    Feds: Arizona man caused huge forest blaze with shotgun blast

    JULY 2---The largest wildfire burning in Arizona was started during a bachelor party when one shotgun-toting celebrant fired a shell that promises to shoot “100 feet of fire, setting everything in its path ablaze,” The Smoking Gun has learned.

    The Sunflower Fire--which has burned nearly 18,000 acres of the Tonto National Forest and is not fully contained--began in mid-May after five Arizona men gathered to celebrate the upcoming May 19 nuptials of Bryan Reeder. The group--all in their mid-20s--traveled from Mesa to the Sycamore Creek area for a weekend “campout and bachelor party,” according to court records.

    On Saturday, May 12, the quintet awoke and “began to target shoot in an area close to their camp,” a United States Forest Service agent reported in a sworn affidavit. About two hours into the target shooting, Craig Shiflet (pictured at right) loaded an “incendiary shotgun shell” into his Remington 12 gauge and fired the round.

    Tyler Pace, another bachelor party attendee, told investigators that after Shiflet fired the round, he “noticed smoke in the brush just behind” where the round landed in vegetation. Pace said the entire group “ran over to where the smoke was and noticed fire, which they unsuccessfully attempted to stomp out.”

    As the fire rapidly grew, Shiflet called 911 and reported the blaze (and was instructed to leave the area by a police dispatcher).

    Federal agents began investigating the fire the day after its ignition. Witnesses provided probers with the license plate number of a GMC Yukon that was seen departing the Sunflower Fire. The vehicle was “occupied by five white males in their 20’s,” reported Lucas Woolf, a Forest Service agent.

    After tracing the SUV to Pace, Woolf approached him on May 19 (the day of Reeder’s wedding) and said he wanted to talk about the Sunflower Fire. “I think that we may have had something to do with that,” Pace replied.

    Woolf then interviewed Shiflet, who recalled firing an “orange shotgun round” at a soda box, expecting the round to “shoot out flame or act like a flare gun.” Shiflet provided Woolf with the “exact same type of shotgun shell that he fired” on May 12, triggering the massive blaze.

    A warning on the Fiocchi 12 gauge round’s packaging made its danger clear: “Shoots 100 feet of fire, setting everything in its path ablaze. Warning: Extreme FIRE HAZARD.”

    On June 22, Shiflet was named in a three-count misdemeanor criminal complaint accusing him of causing the Sunflower Fire, which has destroyed 17,618 acres (and is now 80 percent contained). A Tonto National Forest spokesperson estimated that fire suppression efforts have so far cost $6 million.

    Shiflet was served with a federal summons last Wednesday by a federal agent who met up with him at a McDonald’s in Phoenix. Shiflet, who did not respond to a TSG message sent to his Facebook page, is scheduled to appear July 13 in U.S. District Court in Phoenix. (6 pages)
  12. havik72

    havik72 Senior Member

    I guess thats my point with the post…fires can clearly be started by shooting with tracers or shooting incendiary rounds, but the news keeps using the basic term "target shooting" as though someone shooting standard ammo is igniting wild fires. I think about how difficult it is to intentionally start a fire with flint and steel, with a prepared bed of tinder and a lot of blowing to get it to take, and it just doesn't ring true to me that a simple ricochet would have all the other requisites in place (good dense tender, adequate wind, sufficient spark) at exactly the right time to get a spark to take. It's not like a simple ricochet creates massive quantities of sparks.
    Here in Utah one fire was later attributed to shooting at incindiery targets but the rest (5) were attributed to simple target shooting. just seems a bit impossible to me to occur with such frequency…just my opinion based on experience with my own ricochets.
  13. cutlass327

    cutlass327 New Member

    Ok, this just begs to ask thus question... why would they produce an ammunition for shotguns to turn them into a flames thrower??? I do not see any self defense, or even military purpose for that. Nothing other than a gimmick round, for nothing other than setting something on fire while using your firearm as a toy ny using those rounds...

    BLCKWLF GrassHopper

    They are called novelty rounds however they stemmed from flares and flash bangs which have legitimate uses.