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Utah is on fire and target shooters are getting the blame... Is this that common?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by why.kyle, Jun 22, 2012.

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  1. why.kyle

    why.kyle Member

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    I live in Utah and the last 2 years it seems like half the wildfires we have are claimed to have been started by target shooters.. And I dont get it.

    Some one educated me on it.. Im not saying its not possible. It is certainly POSSIBLE.. but how likely is it that its happening so often.
    This article from 2 days ago says 19 have been started by target shooters
    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54342335-78/fire-state-utah-shooting.html.csp

    Well all know the media knows jack about guns and what they do.

    I mean a normal target shooter, not taking into account explosive/reactive targets, doesnt really cause that many sparks, and even if they do the odds of that spark actually causing a fire is on the low side right...

    I duno.... Im just rambling because im frustrated and dont understand.. Im worried about what kind of restrictions might be imposed.

    There are all kinds of POSSIBILITIES.... Ill say that again.. I know its possible.. but for so many fires I dont how it can happen that much.

    Someone explain this to me.
     
  2. Gaffer

    Gaffer Member

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    The article I read on a national weather site indicated that said fires were being started by shooters who used ammo with steel core bullets which causes sparks and hot fragments when hitting rocks.
    Too many shooters are trying to say money and using surplus military ammo that is either steel cores or incendiary in nature. That article also indicated that many target shooters are not using safe ranges but instead are just using wild forest land and in dry conditions, with improper bullets the risk rises dramatically.

    It is unfortunate that some shooters without thinking are giving the antis yet another good reason to put limits on our favorite sport. Even lead core bullets from fast varmint loads when shot at steel create a white hot slag as it literally instantaneously melts through steel plates in impact due to the energy involved.
     
  3. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Member

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    The stuff Gaffer said is true. Us shooters as a whole need to strive to be safe and promote a good image of ourselves to the general public if we want to keep doing what we do. If that means spending a little more on non-steel ammo or using different targets, then so be it. Might be a small inconvenience now, but it's nothing compared to losing the freedom to shoot on public land. In CT, I personally don't have that freedom or the space to exercise it, but I fully support those who do and I'm glad that they can.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I think it could just as easily be smokers throwing out lit cigarettes.

    Or wacko's that like to start fires driving down the same access roads shooters use.

    rc
     
  5. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Another cause are the off-road riders, especially those with no spark arrestors and those who THINK their camp fore is out.

    When I lived in NV, we had fires started by some of the stupidiest thing, including a bad one near homes started by two kids dipping lizard tails in lighter fluid and lighting them.

    When it gets that dry out there, ANYTHING can cause a fire

    We used BLM and Forest Service land all the time - one of the benefits about that part of the West was all of the wide-open public land -one needs to be careful
     
  6. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Could be the military.

    My club was having an Across the Course match on a military range, in a period of drought, when the military on the range to the right set the woods on fire.

    They were using tracers and everything was dry.

    Our match was shut down and we were kicked off for a while.
     
  7. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    These rumors and stories about shooters using common ammunition being responsible for starting fires need to be quashed immediately.
    A demonstration needs to be put on to show just how difficult if not impossible it would be to light a fire with any normal bullet, AP included, except for using something like tracers.
    Hot molten lead? Come on :banghead:
    Cigarettes and unattended campfires plus some intentional starts.
     
  8. Jeff H

    Jeff H Member

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    Tracers will definitely set things on fire. People buying ammo at gun shows and not knowing what they bought is the problem.

    A few years ago I stopped in an indoor range that allows rifle shooting. They had a new sign up staying they were inspecting all rifle ammo brought to the range. I asked them why they had this new policy. They told me some knuckle head bought tracers at a gun show and caught their whole backstop on fire. The backstop is made out of shredded tires so you can imagine the mess that made.
     
  9. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    Bullets will cause grass and brush fires especially bullets with steel cores. They ricochet off rocks and cause sparks that ignite fires. i've seen it happen several times.
     
  10. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Yep - saw it happen in Carson City at their range - we were able to put it out. Folks were shooting steel, AP, and incendiary stuff they bought at a Reno gun show, so....
    Aren't rumors or BS stories.

    Typically, however, it is lightning or an unattended campfire or deliberate arson
     
  11. why.kyle

    why.kyle Member

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    I understand it can happen.. and if you have seen it personally all the more evidence..
    It just seems like the probability is so low.. I doubt every bullet sparks, and not every spark stays lit till it hits something combustible..
    It just boggles my mind...

    Thanks for those that replied with good info.. you are a credit to this hobby.
     
  12. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    Proving that it's POSSIBLE these fires could be started by gunfire does not prove that they WERE, or even that gunfire is a more PROBABLE cause than smokers or automobiles (of which there are undoubtedly more). A pair of Boy Scouts can prove that these fires COULD be started by rubbing sticks together... that doesn't make it the most likely cause. These fires may have occurred near areas people shoot, but they also may have happened where people drive, camp, or smoke.
    Possibility is not probability. Coincidence and correlation do not show causality. Unless there's some EVIDENCE that the fires were started by gunfire, it sounds like someone has decided that they WANT people to think this and are pushing an agenda.
     
  13. B!ngo

    B!ngo Member

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    No doubt it CAN happen but I'd like to understand how the press knows (in this case) that it DID happen. I'm actually a bit of a lefty, but regardless, uncorroborated new reporting on either side of the line always makes me suspicious. So, how do they know this? Who actually acknowledged they are at fault?

    http://www.startribune.com/nation/160033145.html - non-corroborated
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162...res-as-dry-ground-makes-ignition-more-likely/ - non-corroborated

    I can't find any detail. So, if this is true then it was at best a thoughtless and shameless act. But before the term is hung out there, where is the proof? I have to believe that there is some, but after some quick Google-ing, I can't yet find it.
    B
     
  14. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    bingo, B!ngo.
     
  15. Mk VII

    Mk VII Member

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    I have seen fire starting (on a military range) in the brush out a couple of hundred yards out and there sure wasn't anyone else out there but a bunch of soldiers pistol-shooting.
     
  16. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    The steel core stuff will definitely spark and it doesn't take hitting steel to do it, much of the high fire danger lands in the west are covered with rock and the bullets will certainly spark off them. The same can be said for lawn bower blades and other steel implements that are probably used much more than steel core bullets so I am in agreement that the media and probably the fire agencies are looking for a scapegoat and shooters are better than the highway department mowing road ditches.
    I would think that muzzle loaders would also be a culprit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  17. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    I blame Ford Motor Company. It's a well-documented fact that some of their sedan models catch fire if they're rear-ended, to include police model crown vics with reinforced bumpers. The fact that we know they CAN catch fire, no matter how rarely or unlikely, is apparently all the proof we need to allege that they are undoubtedly the culprits.
     
  18. Beaux Nehr

    Beaux Nehr Member

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    I'd pay $100 to see someone with a spam can of steel core ammo intentionally start a campfire by shooting rocks next to tinder.
     
  19. RustHunter87

    RustHunter87 Member

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    muzzle flash, shooting prone in dry grass
     
  20. why.kyle

    why.kyle Member

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    Just as an update: The current fire burning in Saratoga springs UT is confirmed to be shooter started, the actual shooters are the ones who called in the fire. Im impressed by them and their responsibility. there currently is no charges, but there could be a civil suit.. I feel bad for them.. but good on them for taking it honestly
     
  21. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    See, THIS is the kind of factual reporting that should have gone out in the first place. So common for the media to be ignorant of firearms in general, and sloppy.
    Good on th shooters for taking responsibility, but it's gonna hurt.
     
  22. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    So I guess your snarky comments earlier have now been debunked, eh Texan?
     
  23. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    Seriously?

    Non incendiary rounds are being blamed for what again?

    :rolleyes:
     
  24. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I have shot in that specific area before and rounds hitting the rocks there will cause sparks. I've seen it first hand. There is a lot of dry grass too.

    The fire is right in an area that lots of people use for shooting and the last news report I heard was that it was the shooters themselves that called it in and claimed to have started it.

    I'm all for not jumping to conclusions or spreading BS but lets use that standard both ways.
     
  25. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    BTW there was another shooter started fire out there very recently.
     
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