Forest Service restricts recreational target shooting in Eldorado National Forest due to fire danger | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Forest Service restricts recreational target shooting in Eldorado National Forest due to fire danger

A fire tanker makes a run at the Payne fire near Woodfords 6 p.m. June 6. Target shooting was suspected of being the fire's cause.

Due to extremely dry vegetation and very high fire danger, Eldorado National Forest announced that additional fire restrictions will be in effect into October.

Forest Supervisor Laurence Crabtree said recreational target shooting will be banned through Oct. 9, and longer if necessary.

"I am implementing a temporary ban on recreational shooting to provide for public safety and resource protection during hazardous conditions," Crabtree said in a press release. "It's already extremely dry right now. Our most dangerous fire weather typically occurs in September and October which is when strong wind events tend to occur, like the one associated with the devastating fires in northern California last fall and the King Fire in September 2014."

Under the additional restrictions, target shooting will be prohibited in all areas of the Eldorado National Forest unless specifically authorized by a special use permit. Hunting with a valid State of California hunting license during hunting season is exempt from this restriction. Any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty is also exempt.

Fire ignitions from target shooting can be caused by sparks when bullets hit rocks or by hot metal fragments that encounter dry vegetation. The Bureau of Land Management, Motherlode field office has had restrictions on recreational target shooting in place since July 13, in areas near the Eldorado National Forest.

All other previously announced fire restrictions on the Eldorado National Forest are still in effect:

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• No wood or charcoal fires are allowed outside of exempted recreation sites even with a valid campfire permit.

• No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, building or exempted recreation site.

• Operating a welding or other torch with an open flame is prohibited.

• Operating an internal combustion engine without a properly operating spark arrestor is prohibited.

Lanterns and portable stoves using gas, kerosene, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed with a valid 2018 California Campfire Permit available at http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit or from forest service offices during normal business hours. (Note: This does not include gas fire pits that are not a stove or a lantern.)

Those with a valid 2018 wood cutting permit may cut firewood in compliance with the terms of their permit.

Several local shooting ranges provide an alternative location for recreational target shooting. Check out http://www.wheretoshoot.org/ for suggestions.

For more information on what you can do to prevent wildfires and prepare your home for wildfires visit http://www.readyforwildfire.org/One-Less-Spark-Campaign/.

As a reminder, fireworks as well as exploding targets are never allowed in the Eldorado National Forest.