Recreational Shooting Started Pawnee Grassland Fires

Recreational shooters are being blamed for sparking two wildfires this week that burned more than 500 acres of the Pawnee National Grassland in northeast Colorado.

The Greeley Tribune reports both fires started on the west side of the grasslands, and citations are being issued for shooting at illegal targets. The "Little Sand Fire" burned 560 acres, and the "500 Fire" burned 29 acres.

Forest Service officials are reminding target shooters that hot projectiles and sparks from ricochets can ignite fires in dry grassy and brushy areas. Recreational shooters are asked to use only cardboard and paper targets, self-healing targets, manufactured metallic targets or clay targets.