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salt lake

Gunfire blamed for more wildfires; target shooting limited

1y ago
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Here's news that may start a firestorm: Officials say gunfire has ignited some wildfires in the bone-dry West, and some states are limiting outdoor shooting to reduce fire risk. Target shooting or other firearms have started at least 21 wildfires in Utah and nearly a dozen in Idaho, the Associated Press says. Gunfire has also been cited for causing wildfires in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Washington. But as officials seek to limit outdoor shooting or ammunition, they are running up against a formidable force: the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, is taking heat for authorizing restrictions on target shooting on state and county land after it was determined that gunfire started one blaze. Officials were deciding today how to impose the politically charged ban in some areas because of the fire risk, the Salt Lake Tribune says. A decision is expected soon. "This does not abridge anybody's constitutional right to bear firearms," Herbert said. "But we're facing a serious fire season, and the state forester has the authority to limit [shooting] in unincorporated areas." The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has limited target-shooting hours at the 114,150-acre Wenas Wildlife Area after shooters started a fire June 23 that burned seven acres. From now through Sept. 30, target shooting is allowed only from sunrise to 11 a.m. Read More http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/07/gunfire-blamed-for-some-wildfires-states-consider-limits/1