Target Shooting Set Off Wildfire

Wildfire the 2003 Season
By  | 

Another wildfire - the second one in our area this week - is being blamed on a man who was target shooting.

It started in 7-mile Canyon near Virginia City yesterday afternoon. Firefighters were able to stop it quickly and managed to keep it to about five acres.

The fire broke out at about 12:30 Wednesday when firefighters say a bullet likely ricocheted off of a rock. "He tried to put it out - it just grew on him too much," said NDF spokesman Rick Riolo. "And he high-tailed it to the fire station, reported it and got us down here real quick," he said.

According to Captain Riolo, this area burned last year so the fire's fuel was mainly cheatgrass. But, he says, these dry conditions usually aren't seen til July.

"It just goes to show if a ricocheted bullet can start a fire in this grass right now - it's dry," Riolo said.

Firefighters are also asking gun owners to be careful where they fire their weapons. "Pick safer places.. sandy areas.. stay away from rocky areas,"

Riolo has another message as well. "If you let a fire get away and it gets extreme, you can be billed for it."

And a small fire like this can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Firefighters will likely be in the area mopping up.. for the next couple of days.