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Target shooters spark fire near Saratoga Springs

By Mike Anderson  |  Posted Jun 21st, 2012 @ 10:44pm


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SARATOGA SPRINGS — Firefighters are battling a wildfire that has burned more than 600 acres near the border of Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs.

The human-caused Dump Fire started about 12:30 p.m. Thursday west of the Saratoga Springs landfill. Investigators said the fire was started by target shooting, making it the 20th caused by gunfire so far this year.

The fire, which was about 20 percent contained as off Thursday evening, is about a mile away from homes. And that makes Eagle Mountain resident Donovan Jones nervous.

"With it being so dry, if we get some bad winds, it could easily get over to my house," Jones said.

Winds were pretty consistent Thursday afternoon, blowing from east to west, said Teresa Rigby, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management.

Lake-effect winds in the evenings could make the fire more difficult to fight, Rigby said.

"This is always an area of concern here at Lake Mountain," she said.

Crews are fighting the fire from the ground and air. Because of the steep terrain and thick vegetation, Rigby said crews likely will be battling the blaze for three days.

Officials said target shooting is a popular activity in the area. Target shooting is allowed, but people need to be careful where and how they shoot, Rigby said.

"It is possible for people to come out and shoot safely," she said. "Don't shoot into the rocks. Choose a dirt background. Don't shoot at metal. Don't shoot steel-jacketed or steel-core ammunition or anything else that is going to create that extra source of heat."

Contributing: Jared Page


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