Duck Hill and Chimney 2 wildfires both started by target shooting

CARSON CITY, Nev. – Yesterday, Bureau of Land Management Fire Investigators determined the causes of both the Duck Hill and Chimney 2 wildfires was target shooting. The Duck Hill fire started at approximately 11:40 a.m., at Duck Hill in Washoe Valley and the Chimney 2 fire started at approximately 12:40 p.m., north of Sun Valley.

In addition, BLM is requesting any information about the person(s) responsible for starting the Duck Hill Fire who fled the scene and did not report the fire to 911. They were seen leaving the scene in a red side-by-side Utility Terrain Vehicle driving on Goni Road toward Carson City. If you have any information please call 775-885-6117.

“Though the weather has turned cooler and the days have shortened, the fire hazard has not improved, said Ryan Elliot, BLM Lead Fire Investigator. “Fuels on the rangelands are the driest on record for this time of year. Any ignition source is capable of causing a fire.”

Fire restrictions are currently in place and people recreating on public lands should exercise care to prevent fires from occurring. In prior years, shooting activities and off-road vehicle use has accounted for the highest number of human caused fires in the months of September and October.

Fire restrictions prohibit the following:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire (using wood, charcoal or any other material), campfire or stove fire except a portable stove using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel outside of a developed fee campground or picnic area (except by permit).
    ·         Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or at a developed campground or picnic area.
    ·         Operating vehicles or other motorized equipment off of existing paved, gravel or dirt roads.
    ·         Welding or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit.
    ·         Using or causing to be used, any explosive, except by permit.
    ·         Possession or use of fireworks or any other incendiary device.
    ·         Use of tracer rounds (always prohibited), steel-core ammunition, or exploding targets, including Binary Explosive Targets while recreational shooting.

As a reminder, the following safety tips should be followed while target shooting:

  • Refrain from shooting during hot, dry and windy conditions.
  • Don’t use incendiary or tracer ammo – Incendiary and tracer ammo are always prohibited on public lands.
  • Place your targets on dirt or gravel areas clear of vegetation and avoid shooting into rocky areas. Placing a target in dry grass increases the risk of fire.
  • Be aware that all types of ammunition can start fires under the right conditions, especially steel core ammunition.
  • Bring a container of water. This may seem obvious, but shooters often fail to bring enough water to put a fire out. A five gallon bucket of water readily available while shooting could prevent a disaster if a fire does start.
  • Bring a shovel. Use the shovel to dig a trench around your targets before shooting to ensure that any fire caused by sparks can be easily contained.
  • Shoot at quality steel targets designed to minimize risks to both the shooter and the environment. For steel targets to be functional and safe, they should be made of high quality through hardened steel that has a Brinell hardness number of at least 500.
  • Don’t shoot trash. Trash like old couches and TVs can often be found illegally dumped on public land but can be dangerous fire hazards when shot.
  • Please shoot responsibly and clean up after shooting.


For more information contact Lisa Ross at 775-885-6107.