The target shooting and hunting community prides itself on being safe and responsible with firearms in all situations – from using them outdoors to storing them safely at home. However, unusually dry conditions, which are currently present in Idaho, require an extra level of awareness and safety on the part of shooters.
Wildfires have many possible causes, including the use of certain ammunition and targets during hot and dry weather conditions. Please consider the potential consequences of your activities in fire-prone environments. Remember exploding targets, incendiary or tracer ammunition and fireworks are illegal on public lands. Below are some points to consider while recreating on public lands:
- Make it a point to know the regulations and rules in your area, whether on public or private land or at shooting ranges. Many national forests, for example, do not allow recreational shooting when fire restrictions are in effect.
- Consider the type of ammunition and targets you are using. Minimize the risk of fires by not using steel-jacketed ammunition, and ammunition with steel-core components in fire-prone areas. Tracer rounds and exploding targets are illegal on public lands.
- Consider what materials you are shooting at. Hard surface targets can cause ricochets and sparks, which can ignite a wildland fire.
- Remember that equipment, such as cars and ATVs, can have extremely hot exhaust systems that could ignite dry vegetation, so don’t drive over dry grass and park only in designated areas.
- Extinguish and dispose of smoking materials safely.
- Follow guidelines to extinguish campfires.
- Warn others of potential dangers and behaviors for starting wildfires.
- Report any wildfire you see to authorities.
- Spread this message to other target shooters, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.