PORTLAND, Ore. — In hopes of reducing the chance of wildfires, the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has added metal targets to a list of banned materials on public lands throughout the summer.
BLM land is a popular choice for recreational shooting, and that activity is largely allowed with a few restrictions.
Fireworks, exploding targets, and tracers or other incendiary devices are already banned during the summer months on public lands. The new prohibition on metal targets stretches from now through the month of October.
“We need everyone to take an active role in preventing human-caused wildfires this year since the Pacific Northwest is predicted to have an extremely dry summer. To prevent these fires, we all have to follow these prohibitions,” said Barry Bushue, State Director for BLM Oregon and Washington.
People violating these prohibitions can be fined up to $1,000 and/or receive a prison term of up to one year. People responsible for starting wildland fires on federal lands can also be billed for the cost of putting out the fire.
An incendiary device is defined as "any firebomb or device designed or specially adapted to cause physical harm to persons or property by means of fire, consisting of an incendiary substance or agent and a means to ignite it." Examples include flamethrowers, Molotov cocktails, or accelerants.
BLM officials recommend the following fire safety precautions for recreational target shooting:
- Avoid target shooting on days with hot, dry, and/or windy conditions.
- Ensure target areas are clear of dry grass, vegetation, and rocks for at least 20 feet around the target.
- Have a proper backstop.
- Bring water, a fire extinguisher, and a shovel.
- Do not use prohibited items: metal targets, tracer or incendiary devices, and exploding targets.