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Recent Fires by Target Shooters!!! Help Us Prevent a Shut Down!!!

Discussion in 'Outdoor Shooting Areas' started by Cogs, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. Cogs

    Cogs Washougal, WA. Volunteer Coordinator 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Just in from Tillamook State Forest.... They may close the forest to shooting! Read on. Anyone have a solution?

    Hi Bill and Eric,
    The e-mail below is from Mike Cafferata. Mike is the District Forester for the Forest Grove District. We have had three fires on the district in the last two weeks that were the result of recreational target shooting. We are sending the message below out widely and he has asked me to forward it to our recreation partners. He is seeking input from recreation users and the recreational target shooting community to help us develop solutions to reduce the risk of fires from target shooting and to ultimately prevent fire starts. Please read though his email and feel free to share it with other members of Northwest Firearms. If you or other members of Northwest Firearms would like to provide comment or input you are welcome to contact Mike directly via phone or email or to send comments to me and I will forward them to Mike.
    Mike’s contact information is:

    Mike Cafferata
    District Forester, Forest Grove District
    503-359-7430 Work
    503-961-2022 Cell
    Mike.J.Cafferata@oregon.gov

    Let me know if you have any questions.
    Thank you,
    Randy Peterson
    Recreation Program Manager
    Oregon Department of Forestry
    Forest Grove District
    Tillamook State Forest
    503-359-7470
    Randy.A.Peterson@oregon.gov

    Hello to all recreational target shooters and others that care about forestlands in Northwest Oregon,

    Here in Northwest Oregon, we have had 3 fires in the last 2 weeks that are the result of recreational target shooting in the forest. These fires caused damages of public and private timber (68 acres total), and considerable expense (about $100,000) of private landowner and public funds. Many of you will remember last year’s 36 Pit Fire that was reported by the news as having been caused by recreational target shooting in a rock pit. That fire burned 5,500 acres and cost millions of dollars to contain.

    Our fire danger is at record levels for this time of year, and getting worse as we head into a weekend of hot dry weather. These are conditions we normally see in August, just before humidity rises and fire danger is reduced. We believe the extra dry conditions are contributing to the number of early starts we are seeing from recreational shooting and other causes.

    We are looking for solutions to prevent these recreational target shooting fires and welcome input on the options. As we all work together to prevent wildfire risk, and keep communities safe from fire, we are looking at how best to package a range of available options and prevention tools to accomplish this. This includes:

    · More public education, such as this email, alerting the recreational shooting public to the extra hazard and fire starts that are the result of recreational shooting activity. We are also going to do more public outreach through press releases and with our staff.

    · Another option is to prohibit recreational target shooting during fire prone conditions through the Regulated Use Requirements. This could be:

    o A prohibition on recreational target shooting after 1 pm in the afternoon, as is done with other fire prone activities.

    o A complete prohibition on recreational target shooting until conditions moderate

    · Waivers could be available for landowners that have fire safe locations.

    o Other alternatives that we have not yet identified.

    We would like to find a solution that supports landowner activities and the recreating public while also maintaining forest resources and property. This effort relates to geographic area covered by the Northwest Oregon Forest Protective Association, basically the forestland north of Highway 18 outside McMinnville, including the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests. A map is available here: http://www.oregon.gov/odf/pages/fire/precautionlevelMap.aspx. The area covered by this consideration are the weather zones NW1, NW2, and NW3.

    At this time and heading into the extreme heat of the weekend, we are asking the recreational shooting public to be extremely careful. Bullets are extremely hot on impact and we think fragments of bullets falling on vegetation are starting fires in these dry conditions. Here is a link to an article about the ability of bullets to cause fires. http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_rp104.pdf
    We are asking that you cease shooting after 1 pm, that you only shoot into a backstop of mineral soil, and that you have the required fire extinguisher (or shovel and water) with you on forestland. After shooting, be sure to check the target area for any signs of fire.

    We are learning about the relationship between recreational shooting and fire, and are evaluating options to lower the fire risk. Your suggestions and feedback are welcome. (email, phone, or otherwise to myself or other local ODF staff)

    Reducing and preventing wildfires during extremely dry conditions and record drought requires all of us working together towards solutions. As part of this, we need your help in spreading the message to your friends and neighbors, and welcome your feedback and input as we maneuver the summer months.

    Regards,
    Mike

    For current local fire information, see our blog: www.FGDFire.com
    Mike Cafferata
    Forest Grove District Forester
    503-359-7430 Work
    503-961-2022 Cell
     
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  2. Goosebrown

    Goosebrown Beaverton Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Thanks Cogs. Important stuff.
     
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  3. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Unfortunately the problem is very likely not people on a site like this. It's much more likely people that don't bother to watch the news or keep informed on topics like this. Just "those guys" (you all know the type), that come out, shoot a bunch of stuff up, leave a mess and say 'fudge it' to any kind of safety or awareness. I just don't see how you can get the point across to people like that, since they just don't care. But everyone pays for their actions.

    I fear it's going to be a really bad year, I only hope we don't see our freedom to shoot on public lands restricted for good due to some bad apples.
     
  4. Cogs

    Cogs Washougal, WA. Volunteer Coordinator 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Yeah, I think we should go slap their parents around for not raising their kids right! That'll learn em!o_O

    I agree, I feel a bad fire year coming!
     
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  5. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I don't shoot on public lands now that I belong to a range. But I think it would be good planning for anyone going into the woods to shoot to maybe bring a shovel and some extra water, maybe a fire extinguisher, just in case they see a small fire start and may have the chance to put it out before it spreads. I'm not suggesting anyone become a firefighter, leave that to the pros, but anyone should be able to extinguish a small fire.

    And even though I'm not convinced it's a big problem, probably best to leave the tannerite at home until the fall.
     
  6. edslhead

    edslhead Vanc Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Just got this notice from WDFW.

    WDFW NEWS RELEASE
    Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
    http://wdfw.wa.gov/
    June 25, 2015
    Contact: Scott McCorquodale, (509) 457-9322
    WDFW prohibits target shooting until Oct. 1 at Wenas Wildlife Area to reduce wildfire risk


    OLYMPIA - To reduce the risk of wildfire, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will close the Wenas Wildlife Area to target shooting until Oct. 1.
    The closure, effective July 1, bans target shooting 24 hours per day at the wildlife area, located between Ellensburg and Yakima. Public notice of the closure will be posted at all entry points and established target shooting sites within the Wenas Wildlife Area.
    Scott McCorquodale, regional WDFW wildlife manager, noted the agency restricted target-shooting to morning hours in May.
    "Conditions on the wildlife area have worsened over the past month, due to hot, dry weather," McCorquodale said. "We expect that trend to continue with even warmer weather forecast for the area."
    Last week, WDFW restricted fires and other activities on department lands across eastern Washington. The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has expanded its burn ban on DNR-protected lands from eastern Washington to west of the Cascades. DNR's burn ban includes forested lands on WDFW wildlife areas and access sites in western Washington.
    WDFW adopted the closure in cooperation with DNR, which owns lands within the 114,150-acre Wenas Wildlife Area. According to wildfire experts at DNR, people cause 85 percent of Washington's wildfires. Common causes include unattended campfires, fireworks, hot vehicle mufflers on dry grass, target shooting and careless disposal of cigarettes.
    Target shooting has caused several wildfires on the Wenas Wildlife Area in recent years, McCorquodale said. In 2014, target shooting started a fire that burned 10,000 acres of wildlife habitat and threatened nearby homes.
    "It's important to take steps to protect public safety and preserve public recreation lands and wildlife habitat," McCorquodale said.
    The target-shooting ban applies to this year's fire season only. In addition to this closure, however, the department is considering a proposal to permanently restrict target shooting to two designated sites and would continue to restrict target shooting to morning hours during late spring and summer, when fire danger is the greatest. The department held two public meetings this spring to discuss this target-shooting proposal for the Wenas Wildlife Area.
    The department expects to make the decision later this fall, McCorquodale said, adding that WDFW will continue to involve the public in developing a plan for target shooting on the wildlife area.
    Like all of WDFW's wildlife areas and water-access sites across the state, the Wenas Wildlife Area also has prohibitions on fireworks and incendiary devices, including tracer rounds and exploding targets, to reduce the risk of wildfire.
    For more information on fire restrictions on WDFW wildlife areas and access sites, see the department's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/
    This message has been sent to the WDFW All Information mailing list.
    Visit the WDFW News Release Archive at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/
    To UNSUBSCRIBE from this mailing list: http://wdfw.wa.gov/lists/unsubscribe.
     
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  7. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

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    we have had 3 fire started by tracers since Jan 1 in Southwest District, none by Tannerite
     
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  8. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Very important guys. This is them asking, next we're going to be told. Spread the word!
     
  9. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

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    that's right and also the fines for tracer and tannerite doesn't fall under the 477 forest laws like open burns and regulated use closures, the fine for tracers and tannerite is much steeper and I also guarantee responsible party will be pinched for suppression costs as well......one retardant drop is 12K.......one T2 20 person crew is 10K a day......it adds up fast and the investigators are laying in wait
     
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  10. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    Something else that needs to be added, when in the forest during fire season, you HAVE TO carry a shovel, axe and 1 gallon of water or 2.5# fire extinguisher. I usually carry this regardless.

    Also, remember if you car had catalytic converters, these get very hot, so parking anywhere over dry tinder that could contact them is not recommended.

    It's great seeing TSF reaching out.
     
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  11. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Yea - no closures over 'here' (yet) but the FS is on alert and I heard in the news this morning they will be strategically pre-positioning fire trucks, helos & other equipment.
     
  12. Rem700..300

    Rem700..300 Albany Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Thanks for the info and update.
     
  13. YOURSUPREMECOMMANDER

    YOURSUPREMECOMMANDER Raleigh Hills, Or. Active Member

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    Thanks for the info. My heart hurts. This is BAD news.
    My heart hurts. This is bad news.
     
  14. Cogs

    Cogs Washougal, WA. Volunteer Coordinator 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Good points made here. I'm going to pick out the good ones and send them, in an email by the end of this weekend, to Mike Cafferata, District Forester, Forest Grove District, Mike.J.Cafferata@oregon.gov.

    I'm thinking about the fire extinguishers and/or water and shovels... If that's the rule, then they should be checking people in the woods. Often. Somehow, they need to make it well known about the extinguishers, shovels, tracers and tannerite.

    If we only had the volunteers to staff a booth in that forest, we could spread this message quite effectively. They may even consider leaving it open to shoot throughout the summer.

    Hmm... what fire safety stuff could we hand out from the booth? Think any business would donate bunches of small fire extinguishers and/or shovels?

    I really think we could do something rather unique and different. Could be opportunity knocking!

    Bill
     
  15. YOURSUPREMECOMMANDER

    YOURSUPREMECOMMANDER Raleigh Hills, Or. Active Member

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    About a week ago, I was shooting at the Browns Camp Quarry when a young man on a dirt bike pulled up and asked if anyone has seen the sheriff because he just witnessed someone setting fire to a stump in the woods up the road a few miles. There were many witnesses at the quarry that could back me up on this.

    I finished shooting a few hours later, and drove up the road to take a look. ODF was there, fighting a small fire I assume. I left after seeing ODF trucks, so as not to get in the way.

    I hope there isn't someone setting fires so as to blame target shooters for a Guberment agenda. Statistically speaking - several fires allegedly caused by target shooters in the last couple of weeks, makes no sense looking at the historical record.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
  16. edslhead

    edslhead Vanc Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I think I'll be packin plenty of water next time I go shootin. Gallon jugs a water might be something to hand out from a booth. Cheap
     
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  17. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

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    it has always been there

    Backing up to the early 90's big influx of SKS-AK and the large amount of surplus 7.62x39 in steel core is when it really started ......90 dollar sks and a 100 bucks for 1000 X39

    then the demilled 556 tracer pull downs became available for reloaders for almost free, past shelf life but about half of them still light

    then full on loaded surplus tracers

    then tannerite, 99% of the time will not start a fire by itself.
    But coupled with any accelerant will almost always start a fire....setting up a propane tank shooting it to start it purging then touching off the tannerite

    now with the scare of 13 clearing the shelves there are a lot of "Mil" weapons out there that shoot this ammo

    it seems more prevalent now because investigators know what to look for , equipped with metal detectors, magnets and a current working knowledge of tracers, steel core and exploding target mixes .....as with anything the public gets a hold of , it takes time for the powers to be to catch up to what is really going on in the field
     
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  18. tiggers97

    tiggers97 United States Well-Known Member

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    Last weekend, I grabbed the fire-extinguisher from the kitchen. Easy to do.
     
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  19. Rock solid

    Rock solid Nw oregon Member

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    I thought it was common knowledge that a fire extinguisher/ water, axe and shovel where mandatory during fire season. Maybe I just spend too much time in the woods. I emailed a couple suggestions. Shoot safely, I recommend staying a wile afterward on fire watch just to be safe as its quickly becoming a tender box out there. Not looking forward to archery elk.
     
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  20. rangerlars

    rangerlars Oregon Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    There needs to be more public messaging about the hazard of this as most people are still unaware.

    This is buried in yesterday's campfire closure press release, but is good info:

    The Forest Service would like to remind forest users of one activity that can pose a significant risk of starting fires but it often overlooked: recreational target shooting. While target shooting is a legitimate use of National Forest System lands when conducted in a safe and responsible manner, it has the potential to ignite forest fires in hot and dry conditions. Shooters are reminded to remain vigilant and observe the following guidelines:

    - Always bring water and a shovel, and place them near target areas to help immediately extinguish any fires.
    - Place targets against an earthen backstop and away from all vegetation; especially avoid dry grasses or other flammable materials.
    - Never use incendiary ammunition or exploding targets, which are prohibited on National Forest lands.
    - Avoid both steel-core ammunition as well as steel targets, as these can present additional risks.



    http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mthood/news-events/?cid=STELPRD3843204
     
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