DWR Closes Wildlife Areas To Target Shooting Due To Fire Threat
Aug 10, 2020, 7:23 PM
(Photo: Morgan Wolfe, KSL TV)
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has closed 17 wildlife management areas temporarily to target shooting because of severe fire danger across central and northern Utah.
A DWR news release said a fire started last week at the Richmond Wildlife Management Area as people shot at a metal target. That fire burned two acres.
In mid-July, a bullet ricochet caused the Big Hollow Fire near Heber City that burned 438 acres in the Wallsburg WMA.
As of Aug. 5, Utah Fire Info reported people have started 712 wildfires in Utah. That is far more than the 379 fires reported at this time last year and 510 fires over the same period in 2018, according to Utah Fire Info.
Also, 28 of this year’s wildfires started because of target shooting at a cost of nearly $1 million.
Dry & hot conditions have caused us to temporarily close 17 of our wildlife management areas in central and northern Utah to recreational shooting of firearms, due to wildfire concerns. 🔥 Click the link for the full list and more details:https://t.co/5oLjcdyvu6 pic.twitter.com/JKcRgreUeK
— UtahDWR (@UtahDWR) August 10, 2020
“With the dry conditions, any spark can start a fire,” said Utah DWR habitat manager Scott Walker. “With firearm target shooting, sparks from metal targets aren’t the only threat — a bullet or other projectile glancing off a rock is all it takes to cause a spark and a fire.”
Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands has also restricted open fires of any kind on state lands, except within the facilities designated for them in improved campgrounds, picnic areas or home sites where running water is present. DWR’s WMAs do not have any established campgrounds or fire pits, so campfires aren’t currently allowed on any WMAs.
Until fire conditions improve, target shooting with firearms is not allowed anywhere on the following WMAs:
Box Elder County
- Coldwater WMA
- Brigham Face WMA
- Richmond WMA
- Millville / Providence WMA
- East Canyon WMA
- White Hill WMA
- Black Hill WMA
- Six Mile WMA
- Twelve Mile WMA
- Henefer / Echo WMA
- Kamas WMA
- Santaquin WMA
- Dairy Fork WMA
- Lassen Draw WMA
- Spencer Fork WMA
- Wallsburg WMA
- Middle Fork WMA
Target shooting and campfire restrictions will be evaluated during the remainder of the fire season.