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Monday, July 16, 2018

North Butte Fire caused by exploding target


For Immediate Release: July 16, 2017 4 p.m.
Contact: Kelsey Griffee, kgriffee@blm.gov, 208-521-8709

North Butte Fire caused by exploding target
Twitter: @BLMIdahoFire
(#NorthButteFire & BLMIFDFire)

MENAN, Idaho – Investigators determined the July 15th North Butte Fire was caused by shooters illegally using exploding targets. The North Butte Fire burned 827 acres and will be contained today at 8 p.m.

“This is very disappointing as this is the second fire caused by exploding targets near Menan Butte this summer,” said Jeremy Casterson, Upper Snake Field Manager. “Exploding targets are prohibited by the BLM because they can start wildfires and have caused multiple wildfires across Idaho.”  

Exploding targets are a binary explosive. A binary explosive consists of two components that are mixed together to cause a reaction. An exploding target usually consists of ammonium nitrate, the fuel, and aluminum powder, the catalyst. To set off an explosion, the mixture needs energy, which comes from the kinetic energy of a fast-moving bullet. When a bullet hits the mixture a loud bang and puff of smoke occur and heat is given off. The heat produced by the reaction can then spark a wildfire.

Shoot responsibly! Using exploding targets on BLM lands is a misdemeanor and violators could be liable for costs associated with fire suppression, rehabilitation and property damage.

Take these shooting precautions:

·         Check weather conditions. Hot + Dry + Wind = Quick Spreading Wildfires
·         Choose a shooting area that is clear of dry grass/vegetation and rocks.
·         Always bring water, a fire extinguisher, and a shovel.
·         Discharging a firearm using incendiary, steel core or tracer ammunition is prohibited on BLM lands from May 10th to October 20th.
·         Burning, igniting or causing to burn explosive material, including exploding targets is prohibited on BLM lands from May 10th to October 20th.