The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Western Nevada Agency would like the community to be aware of the increased risk of wildfires due to dry, windy conditions and hot temperatures when shooting targets.
Numerous wildfires have been in many western states started by target shooting throughout the past few years. Many of those fires could have been prevented had the shooters been prepared or refrained from shooting entirely.
“Awareness that wildfires can occur from shooting is the most important thing,” said Shane McDonald, Fire Management Officer. “If people are aware that it can happen, we hope they will make safer choices.”
Safety tips to prevent wildfires while target shooting:
- Bring a container of water – This may seem obvious, but shooters often fail to bring enough water to extinguish a fire. A five gallon bucket of water readily available while shooting could prevent a disaster.
- Bring a shovel – Digging a trench around your targets before shooting ensures that any fire caused by sparks can be easily contained.
- Place your targets on dirt or gravel areas – Keeping targets away from vegetation decreases the risk of causing a fire.
- Don’t shoot at trash – These targets can easily be found, but are exceptional fire hazards.
- Don’t use steel core ammunition – All types of ammunition can start fires under the right conditions, but steel core ammunition has a greater risk of sparking.
- Avoid shooting in rocky areas
- Never use fireworks – Fireworks are illegal to use on public lands. Exploding targets are prohibited under a fire prevention order on public lands.
- Don’t use incendiary or tracer ammo – Incendiary and tracer ammo is also prohibited on public lands during fire restrictions.
- Don’t smoke – Even if you’re following all safety precautions in regards to shooting, you can still easily start a wildfire by smoking. If you’re shooting in a dry location, make sure that all cigarette butts are properly extinguished or avoid smoking at all.
- Park your vehicle away from dry grass – Wildfires have been started by vehicles parked in dry grass. While it may not seem like a hazard, the hot undercarriage of a car or truck can easily create enough heat to ignite the grass.
- Please shoot responsibly, clean up after shooting and tread lightly on public land.
“Everyone is encouraged to safely enjoy the public lands, bearing in mind that human-caused fires annually threaten human life, private property and public land resources,” McDonald added.
For more information contact Lisa Ross at 775-885-6107.