Officials: Tracer ammo led to fires

Officials: Tracer ammo led to fires

24 November 2008

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USA — Pike National Forest officials say the illegal use of tracer ammunition caused two small wildfires at the Rampart Range Road Shooting Range in recent weeks.

The fires, both of which burned less than an acre, broke out Oct. 27 and Nov. 16, said Tom Healy, law enforcement officer for the U.S. Forest Service. In both cases, people were firing the tracer ammunition from assault rifles and left after fires started in dry oak brush. Other shooters put out the fires.

Tracer ammunition is typically used by the military. It has a pyrotechnic charge so the bullets can be seen in flight in the dark. It is legal to have but not to use in national forests, Healy said.

Healy said it appears the fires were started by two groups of people. While it could have come from the military, the ammunition is also available commercially and on the Internet, Healy said.

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