Gunfire Sparks Fires On Boise BLM Land

Jun 11, 2012

Two grass fires that burned south of Kuna Sunday were sparked by gunfire.  Both fires were contained by Sunday night and both burned on public land. 

Mallory Eils is a fire information officer for the Boise District Bureau of Land Management.  She says the Kave Fire and the Poen Fire were the result of gunshots.  “Someone was probably out doing some target practice and shooting something that resulted in a spark or maybe an exploding target is a common thing that people shoot at and because of the dry fuel conditions out there a wildfire resulted.” 

Altogether, gunfire has sparked five BLM fires so far this season. “We do see shooting-related fires throughout the season every year, but this year especially we’ve kind of seen an increase in the number of fires,” says Eils. “ Usually we see more shooting fire later in the season once things dry out more.  But the grass and the brush, especially in the southern part of our district, is already really dry.”

Shooting is legal on a lot of BLM land.  But Eils says if you plan to do a little target practice, be prepared. “We would love for people to just be aware of what they’re shooting especially,” Eils says.  “Bullets that have steel cores, and you can tell that by the fact that when you hold a magnet up to it, they stick to the magnet, they are very likely to cause a spark if they hit something metal, or something like a rock. So they are a common cause of wildfires.”

Eils says tracer and incendiary bullets can also spark fires.  She suggests shooters take with them a fire extinguisher or a shovel and a bucket of water.  She also tells shooters not to aim at dry brush and to avoid shooting on hot and windy days. 


Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio