NCW — Add target shooting to the list of things not to do in the forest.
The state Department of Natural Resources on Saturday issued a temporary ban on target shooting on 3 million acres of DNR-managed lands.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife also started restricting shooting on WDFW-managed lands beginning Saturday.
The temporary restriction does not include hunting.
“Shooting at targets poses greater risk in dry conditions as bullets pass through decayed wood, cause sparks off rocks, or break into fragments in dry grass,” according to the DNR press release.
Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz encouraged private landowners to consider target shooting restrictions on their own lands.
“Current conditions require us to take reasonable steps to reduce wildfire risk,” she said. “Within days we expect to surpass the average number of wildfires that my crews normally respond to within an entire wildfire season. Resources are stretched and we must all do our part to protect our communities and our firefighters.”
On average, DNR responds to 22 wildfires on DNR-managed lands each year caused by shooting, including illegal explosive targets and target practice.
The DNR on Thursday ordered a statewide ban of campfires and outdoor burning. On Wednesday, campfires were banned in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, including wood and charcoal briquette campfires and wood-burning camp stoves. Stoves using pressurized liquid gas are still allowed.