August 15, 2011 (El Cajon)—Cal Fire/San Diego County Fire Authority has experienced a major increase of fires caused by recreational shooting across the County. To date, CAL FIRE/San Diego has had 10 fires caused by target shooting this year, up from only two the prior year.
“There are two types of rounds that we have recovered at the some of these locations,” Cal Fire Captain Mike Mohlere reports, “the first being a Russian made bullet with the caliber of 7.62 x 54R and the other being a 5.56 X 45 caliber used in a M4 rifle." Both are either steel tipped or steel cored bullets which can cause fires when they strike rocks or come apart, he added.
Currently there are five cost collection packages that have been issued for the amount of $253,747.68 for fighting these fires.
Cal Fire/San Diego County Fire Authority is asking the public to exercise extreme caution when engaging in recreational target shooting. The agencies offer these tips:
Survey your location for brush clearance and always look behind a potential target to see where the round may end up. It is important to always be aware of current weather conditions prior to these types of activities and plan your activities around cooler times of the day with higher humidities.