Target shooting in Dry Canyon (Courtesy: Aaron Doolin)
LOGAN — Target shooting in Dry Canyon and Hyde Park Canyon is being prohibited due to the increased risk of wildfires. The Fire Restriction Order goes into effect Thursday morning and will last until Sept. 3.
Cache County Fire Marshal Jason Winn explained the current and forecasted weather conditions, coupled with the exceptionally dry vegetation have made for extreme fire dangers. The order was signed by the Cache County Sheriff, State Fire Management Officer and State Forester.
“Going up into [Dry and Hyde Park canyons] and shooting, using exploding targets has already been a problem for fires this year,” said Winn. “It is just a wise practice to not go into the canyons and shoot right now.”
The order includes all unincorporated private and state lands within Dry Canyon, beginning at 1400 East Dry Canyon Road and continuing 1.1 miles east. Also, all areas within Hyde Park Canyon beginning at 1100 East Canyon Road and continuing 1.6 miles east. It includes all of the canyon from the road to the ridge lines bounding the canyon.
The order comes after several fires have been started by target shooting.
Earlier this month, people were shooting at a metal target near Richmond. A bullet caused a spark that ignited a fire that quickly burned two acres of wildlife habitat before it was extinguished.
In July, an individual was shooting exploding targets in Hyde Park Canyon, igniting dry grass and juniper trees. The Three Hill Fire burned approximately 97 acres of private property.
Winn said the dry conditions right now make it too risky to target shoot in or near the mountains.
“You just never know when you are shooting what you are going to hit, if there is something in the ground. You can get a spark off of a rock that can start a flame. And if you do start a fire, then you could end up paying the suppression costs and that can get pretty expensive.”
The restrictions will be enforced by county law enforcement. Violators can be punished with up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.