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Fire Officials Urge Caution After Several Fires Break Out at Stevens County Shooting Ranges

Courtesy Stevens County Fire District 1

Fire crews in Stevens County are urging the community to be cautious when using guns after several fires broke out at shooting ranges.

Officials say the most recent fire at the area known as Bogg’s Pit near Loon Lake was the third since April.

The largest burn was about two acres.

The latest fire Saturday was followed by yet another fire the same day near Suncrest at another site used for shooting.

Stevens County Fire District 1 Chief Mike Bucy says with the current dry conditions a gunshot can lead to a wildfire.

“When the bullets hit any kind of stone it can cause a spark and any kind of spark in a very dry environment can start a fire. Hot shell casings as they fall into the light flashy fuels that we have been experiencing for the last few months, dead grasses, duff, that kind of thing, it can start a fire as well.”

He warns any would-be shooters to seriously consider their location before engaging in their sport.

“If they're going to be shooting on their own properties or state lands, make sure that there's no grasses, no duff, make sure there's nothing, just pure dirt, pure gravel, around, so if there is a spark there is nothing for that spark to ignite.”

Bucy says there are three Department of Natural Resources controlled properties near Suncrest used as shooting ranges. He says he expects all will be shut down as fire danger increases.

He says any residents who live nearby those sites may want to call that agency to voice their concerns about the dry conditions.

The latest long-term weather forecast calls for highs to return to the upper 90's as soon as early next week.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.
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