Sunday afternoon, March 6th a wildfire started near the town of Airipine, Arizona. By Tuesday it had grown to about 600 acres. Wildfires are common in Arizona when the conditions are dry and hot. This happens mostly in the summer, but can happen anytime.
This particular fire was started by some people target shooting. Target shooting outdoors in Arizona is legal. Arizona is a gun friendly state. You can carry guns open or concealed almost anywhere in the state. You can carry inside banks, bars and restaurants with nearly no exceptions.
Gun owners are safe and responsible
For the most part, Arizona gun owners are very responsible. They are often encouraged by the world famous Sheriff Joe Arpaio to get concealed carry permits and help fight the bad guys. The state has even proposed giving tax breaks for gun safety courses.
That being said we all need to be safe with our weapons. Safe about where we fire them as well as what happens to the bullets. In this case it appears that a hot bullet or ember from a gun started the fire.
Where could the bullet have gone?
The proper procedure would be to keep track of where you are firing. All bullets may not hit the target. If not, they could travel some distance before landing. In dry grass conditions, a hot bullet could start a fire if it lands in just the right place. Wind is also a factor to be considered. High winds fan flames.
Even hitting the target a bullet could ricochet into some hidden location and eventually start a fire.
Check for smoke
So before moving on we must all remember to check for smoke or fire. Pour water over any suspect area. Especially where the hot lead has landed or could have landed.
Take a break
A good idea would be to spend some extra time in the target area once you are done shooting. You could have lunch and talk about how well you did. Relax a little before the drive home. This extra time might be long enough for you to spot the start of a fire and extinguish it.
Don’t blame the shooters
I don’t think these shooters did anything wrong. I’m just reminding us all of how much we love these desert and forest areas. Any extra time we spend double checking ourselves is time well spent.