UPDATE: Cal Fire – “Morgan Fire Caused by Target Shooting”

September 12, 2013 18:05 pm · 102 comments

A wildfire that has charred an estimated 3,133 acres and prompted evacuations in and around Mount Diablo State Park since it started Sunday afternoon appears to have been sparked by target shooting, Cal Fire officials announced this afternoon.

Cal Fire spokesman Steve Kaufmann said the agency could not release further details about the cause, saying that could jeopardize the ongoing investigation.

In a statement released by Cal Fire, fire officials urged people living or visiting California to “be extra cautious with any activity that may cause a spark.”

More than 1,000 firefighters today continued to battle the blaze that initially started off of Morgan Territory Road near Mount Diablo State Park, southeast of Clayton, on Sunday afternoon, according to Cal Fire.

The fire was at 90 percent containment as of this afternoon, fire officials said.

Fire crews expect to have the fire completely contained by Friday, and today a “significant demobilization” of fire crews is planned, he said.

The fire started off of Morgan Territory Road near Mount Diablo State Park, southeast of the Clayton city limits, on Sunday afternoon.

Since that time, more than 1,370 fire personnel from more than a dozen agencies responded to the blaze.

Today, some 1,160 firefighters were responding to the fire, Kaufmann said.

Crews are focused on holding the perimeter around the blaze and ensuring that the winds that tend to blow through the area in the afternoon don’t cause any flare-ups, he said.

“Because the humidity is so low, we just want to make sure everything is out before we leave the area,” Kaufmann said. “We are being extra cautious.”

Kaufmann said the area engulfed in the wildfire, dubbed the Morgan Fire, is covered with vegetation left dry from an ongoing lack of rain and low humidity.

Since grasses, trees and other fuel in the area were already dried out, the fire was able to move much more quickly than it would during a year with more rainfall, he said.

Both in the Morgan Fire and in wildfires throughout the state, he said, “We’re seeing fire behavior that’s super extraordinary, because it’s so dry and those fuel beds are so receptive to fire.”

Residents from as many as 100 area homes threatened by the fire have been allowed to return home since evacuations were ordered Sunday.

Kaufmann said the Morgan Fire serves as a reminder that residents should be prepared to evacuate immediately in the event of a wildfire before crews arrive in their neighborhoods. Equally important, he said, is for residents to secure their homes, closing all windows, doors and garages to prevent fire from spreading to the building.

“When fire is approaching neighborhoods, it’s real important for residents to make sure their houses are locked up tight,” he said.

Fire preparedness tips can be found at Cal Fire’s website at www.fire.ca.gov/.

1 anonmtz September 12, 2013 at 6:13 PM

NRA? where is your apologizer?

2 Just Sayn September 12, 2013 at 6:15 PM

“Guns don’t start fires, People start fires!”.
Just thought I’d say it first.
Thanks again Firefighters!!!

3 Just another Concord Resident September 12, 2013 at 6:20 PM

What an absolute shame, the Concord shooting range is not far away and doesn’t charge very much. Let’s hope the responsible party is caught soon.

4 Anon September 12, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Sorry sounds hard to believe and very convenient with all the gun control measures being passed, right now, by the state.

5 Goomba September 12, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Another dumb gun owner….

6 Sacto Rob September 12, 2013 at 6:40 PM

I’m calling BS on this. In the wake of the Newtown shooting, the anti-gun movement is operating at full power, led by the White House itself. Anybody notice how the Yosemite (Rim) fire was at first speculated to have been started by illegal marijuana growers, then all of a suddden we were told it would take months to find the real cause, then just a day later we were told the first must have been started by hunters because there was no other possible explanation, and so now that’s the accepted story. Now we’re told the Mt Diablo (Morgan) Fire was caused by target shooting (apparently fire investigations in Co Co County are concluded very quickly) even though the details can’t be revealed because blah, blah, blah. How convenient; government employee (firefighters) are unquestioned heroes while gun owners are demons. This is how social engineering works, folks.

7 Debbie Nichols September 12, 2013 at 6:41 PM

So happy to hear it wasn’t arson~!!

I have lived out here off Morgan since 95.. and we have faced many fires.. some started for different reasons.. a cigarette out the window.. short but brief.. sparks from exhaust pipes when someone thought it would be fun to drive up a hillside.. and yes even arson not so long ago.

It’s sad this happened… it was accidental.. yet that,s what accidents do.. THEY HAPPEN. Maybe now when we are asked about approving taxes for important things like supporting our fire fighters we will rethink this.. and realize these are real threats which we face and seriously NEED OUR FIRE FIGHTERS!!!

Thank You to all of you fire fighters for placing your selves in danger.. to help save our Mt. and our properties.. !!!

With much appreciation and gratitude,

Debbie

8 Always Right September 12, 2013 at 6:48 PM

If the fire was accidental, that is good news. At least we don’t have a pyromaniac on the loose.

9 MC Rider September 12, 2013 at 6:50 PM

I am having a pretty hard time believing this. Bullets don’t cause spontaneous combustion, unless they were using tracers or incendiaries which I highly doubt.
Sounds like someone is trying to create more fear mongering for the anti-gun zealots.

10 Maura September 12, 2013 at 6:57 PM

And to think I’ve seen 3 people throw cigarettes out their windows this week. Makes me SO mad!!!!

11 Just another Concord Resident September 12, 2013 at 6:59 PM

What gets me about this was a news story that was so quick to point out the closed fire station in Clayton while conveniently not mentioning the fire station that was just about across the street from the origin of the fire. While I agree that the anti gunners are out there, there was mention here on Claycord about shots being heard just before the fire broke out. One errant bullet against the wrong item can easily cast a spark. Shooters are always responsible for every bullet leaving their guns and yes, I shoot about 5,000 bullets each year.

12 sofia September 12, 2013 at 7:02 PM

I love how it’s so surprising that Marsh Creek is dry on August. For reals? In s year with more rain, this might not have spread so fast? How about “these hills are ALWAYS dry as hell by the end of summer and when people aren’t careful, things like this can happen very quickly ! Come on, guys. It can rain and flood next spring and this same thing can happen if people aren’t passing attention. We aren’t known for “golden hills” for nothing- everything is practically dead looking by May. Lol it’s called a chaparral.

13 Lost and Happy September 12, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Let’s blame…… (insert any kind of political machine propaganda here), guns!! I am starting to think that California is the sad truth of what our Country will eventual become.

14 Thankful September 12, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Debbie #7… Well said!! Forget all the BS around gun control, your thoughts on hunters or gun control or whatever. The real issue here (especially with the government) is budget cuts and how our tax dollars are being used!! Stop cutting in areas where lives are being risked (fire stations, police officers, schools, etc.) and start cutting these damn politicians vacation expenditures, car allowances, expensive meals….

15 Anon September 12, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Sheriff’s range on Marsh Creek?

16 Judge Roy Bean September 12, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Thank You to all the firefighters, and air crews.

Depending on the investigation…the responsible party can be billed for the cost of fighting the fire. Hope your in Good-hands for about 14 mil.

17 anon September 12, 2013 at 7:28 PM

yeah the clayton fire station that was used is a closed fire station. Open the stations back up!

18 MC Rider September 12, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Just another Concord Resident # 11
Bullets are made from lead or a combination of lead and copper. Neither metal will produce a spark when striking anything.
Please show the credible science that states otherwise. Unless the shooter was shooting incendiaries or tracer rounds a errant bullet did not cause this.

19 Walnut Creek Resident September 12, 2013 at 7:31 PM

I really feel for the target folks because they felt bad with the damage it caused and now to know not only did they have their business ruined but somehow somebody there caused the fire I guess with an errant bullet! At least it was not arson or a campfire.

20 Terry Kremin September 12, 2013 at 7:36 PM

That area is NOT open to shooting of hunting. This falls back to stupid people doing stupid things. It (may) just happen to be from a firearm. If so, probably some stupid gang bangers.law abiding gun owners (the vast majority) would not be there shooting. Thdy would be at Chabot or United Sportsman ranges if they were legal.

21 @Rob September 12, 2013 at 7:45 PM

I get what you’re saying, and I’m an avid shooter, but I think this thing needs to play out some more before anyone can say either way. Most legal gun owners are VERY responsible people, but not everyone. I live on Morgan Territory and own other, far more rural property. I’ve seen some trespassers do some pretty stupid stuff with guns. They are definitely the minority, but like with many things they ruin it for everyone else. It is actually very difficult to start a fire with a bullet, but it can happen and has happened. If someone was shooting out there, they must have known it was not a legal place to shoot anyway and I don’t really have any sympathy- particularly since they could have burned my house down. This state has gone off the deep end, and your theory is sadly plausible, but let’s see if they produce some real evidence first.

22 Atticus Thraxx September 12, 2013 at 7:47 PM

I don’t buy that CAL Fire has a dog in the gun control fight. And it’s not unheard of for tracers to catch foliage on fire. Never heard of it with regular small arms ammunition though. Unless there were some knuckleheads shooting something flammable. Either way, our fire fighters deserve much love.

23 Suburban Dad September 12, 2013 at 7:50 PM

I’m very doubtful of this theory ( as well as the Rim Fire being started by a hunter) Unless the muzzle of a gun is put into dry grass a gun a unlikely to start a fire. Bullets are not burning, A fire caused by a spark is possible but not likely. More likely that the shooter was careless with a cigarette butt.
The Rim Fire started around 3:00 in the afternoon. It had to have been at least 95 degrees at the time. Too hot to need heat and too early to be cooking dinner. Why would anyone build a fire? I’m an avid whitewater kayaker, I’ve been down the Tuolumne river 20 plus times. I’ve overnighted at the confluence of the Clavey and Tuolumne rivers twice. both of those times I hiked up the Clavey river in the area where the fire started. There no public access in that area. Check it out yourself on Google Earth.

24 C'mon, people... September 12, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Does anybody really think the outcome in this situation would have been any different if the fire station in Clayton had still been open? As was already pointed out, the CalFire station is practically across the street. I seriously doubt response time from Station 11 would have been any better.

And I’m pretty sure the fire “investigation” went as follows:

Witness: I heard gunshots before the fire.
Fire investigator: Cause of fire must be evil target shooters.

Why not blame poachers, or a Mexican drug cartel trying to cover up a murder? Seriously, people, try banging lead and copper on a rock and see how many sparks you can make. What a crock.

25 Antler September 12, 2013 at 8:08 PM

MC Rider at #9 ~ ~ ~ Numerous other ways…bullets glancing off rocks or pieces of metal ranch equipment and making sparks was the first thing that came to my mind. And because the fire started relatively near dwellings, the sad thing is that the careless person was quite likely a local homeowner or employee.

26 Mike "troll" Dame September 12, 2013 at 8:13 PM

well im having a good laugh at all the non believers n conspiracy criers, it was said on day one of the fire by people that live there that there were people there doing target shooting.just prior to the fire. anyone here ever practice shooting using spinning metal targets, yeah they spark sometimes when hit as do some rocks

27 angry September 12, 2013 at 8:18 PM

witnesses saw those guys target shooting MINUTES before the Morgan Territory fire started. Gun ranges are for target practices. They shouldn’t have been doinjg that out there, especially in 100 degree with an exteme fire danger warning in place. F’N MORONS. I’m upset about this. i

didn’t hear anything about witnesses for the Yosemite Rim Fire or any other fires but DID hear about witnesses to this fire…

28 Not surprised September 12, 2013 at 8:23 PM

This crap is why I left California and the Bay Area in particular. Good to see that nothing’s changed and the govt. is still an enemy of the constitution.

29 Sacto Rob September 12, 2013 at 8:31 PM

@#14 Thankful: If you look at the total dollars spent, government budgets at al levels are still GROWING faster than the rate of inflation. The service reductions you’re seeing have been triggered by increased spending for pensions, and to a lesser degree, raises for current workers. In simple terms, the government is now paying for two workforces, the one currently on the job job, and the last group of workers who are now retired but still collecting pensions. Since labor cost if the single biggest government expenditure, having to pay for two workforces is killing off government’s ability to provide services. I have no problem with secure retirements for folks, but it’s crazy to pay six figure pensions to people who are no longer providing any service for those payments, when the average working FAMILY in the state is making do on roughly half that amount.

30 truth September 12, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Isnt there a police shooting range training field back there, sounds like police should be banned to use Guns, that’s very unsafe

31 busted knuckle September 12, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Let’s blame the guns. How convenient. Copper jacketed bullets or lead bullets don’t spark even if they hit flint. Never found any on that mountain. Someone posts that they might have heard gunshots and everyone jumps on the bandwagon. Until the investigation is complete let’s not rush to judgment. Then I would still want the evidence and not just speculation.

32 Mitch September 12, 2013 at 9:05 PM

I heard target practice on KTVU, 10 p.m. news a week ago.

It’s what the locals were saying, and I happen to be a local! I believed it all along.

33 Keith September 12, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Target shooting has always been a major cause of fires.

In Arizona where my bother lives (outside Phoenix) 31 fires have been caused by target shooting since 2009.

As you enter the area, they have signs that restrict target shooting. People ignore the signs. And fires continue……

34 Gus September 12, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Really I heard it was Chaz bono and a Wicca tribe trying to resurrect Ted Kennedy with a bonfire of pot and dental dams.

35 Causes? Really... September 12, 2013 at 9:32 PM

I heard it was a trailer’s brake which locked up and got hot, and when the guy pulled over, it started a small fire that spread. So he’s gonna stick around and say “ME ME ME”? When every newspaper and station ALWAYS says “The person will be fined Millions and Billions” for the fire, or if God forbid, someone dies, you are now a murderer?

Now it’s target shooters to blame. Is that any worse than if some kid’s model gas R/C plane landed in the grass and caused it? It’s still an ACCIDENT, and unintended. Oh, but it was an EVIL GUN! And IF it were target shooters (look it up, it’s legal) out in a rural area…perhaps one was smoking, or their vehicle caused the fire…..
I like blaming the GUNS. We all feel better knowing we will NEVER have a wild fire again once they ban gun ownership in California.

36 chubby September 12, 2013 at 9:35 PM

The target shooting theory is full of joke possibilities, and I’m sure those will be made. But in all seriousness, I think the only issue as far as criminal liability is whether this was legal or illegal shooting. If someone snuck up there for some illicit shooting and caused a fire, they should get a boot up their !@#$. If it was someone who lived there or had permission then I think it falls more into the category of BBQ accident. They should be publicly shamed and made to apologize to everyone for starting a freaking forest fire, but if it’s outside city limits and there’s no law saying they can’t, they should be able to blast away on their own property. Or smoke. Or use a chainsaw. Or drive a tractor. Or any other activity that if not done carefully and can put spark to tinder. Probably not a great legal opinion, just my opinion.

37 hankster September 12, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Interesting that target practice is confirmed as the cause. Heard that while listening to the scanner radio chatter between ConFire/CalFire crews shortly after the fire started on Sunday.

38 Smoking Gun September 12, 2013 at 9:47 PM

More likely what happened was a dude with a gun was smoking and tossed his butt on the ground.

I’ve shot guns for 40 years and have not been able to even get a jerry can full of gas to ignite, unless you strap a road flare to it.

39 Thanks for Leaving September 12, 2013 at 9:50 PM

Not surprised #28

Thank you for getting your RED self out of here. You won’t be missed. I’ll never understand people that move out of an area and still feel the need to comment on community blogs and facebook pages. Lifetime area resident and I guarantee the first thing I do when I move is unliking/following/bookmarking this and several other pages.

40 Dub Creeker September 12, 2013 at 9:51 PM

Guns causing fires? Impossible! Next thing you’ll tell me is Global Warming and Evolution are real.

God Bless the NRA!

41 Target shooting may not necessarily mean the gun or bullet was to blame..... September 12, 2013 at 9:56 PM

maybe it was the gun-toting, cigarette sucking microphallic moron in his overheated 1980’s ford pickup parked in tall grass with a 3000 degree catalytic converter.

42 BusBoy September 12, 2013 at 9:57 PM

For those saying shooting doesn’t cause fires guess again… Steel core and steel jacketed ammo certainly will and its this cheap stuff that folks get for target shooting.

I really hope it wasnt a shooter.. if so that person is a fool to say the least.

43 Qwick September 12, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Rumor has it that the grandson of the man that owns the quicksilver property started the fire by shooting…..That is what residents had told me while I was out helping during the fire

44 nytemuvr September 12, 2013 at 10:06 PM

@MC Rider #18
Lead shot shells are illegal now, they make shotgun shells with steel balls. I’ve been to a range where a fire started at 100 yds. from a copper jacketed bullet, I think it is plausible. It will probably be never known what started it.

45 Magic mike September 12, 2013 at 10:08 PM

I BLAME OBAMACARE!!!!!

46 Ann September 12, 2013 at 10:14 PM

I don’t know if anyone here remembers when cattle were grazed on Mt.Diablo partially helping with keeping down the underbrush. I found several articles about the benefits and of course a few negative ones as well. I understand goats have been rented sometimes at $800 to $1000 an acre. They are highly efficient but what a cost. Wouldn’t have done a thing to keep down brush. But the cattle did and the ranches paid for the privilege. Just a thought.

47 jt September 12, 2013 at 10:17 PM

This isn’t about being pro or anti gun, its about being responsible. I am pro barbecue, but you should not be able to light up in the California bush in the middle of our dry summers. Firing guns out there is just plain irresponsible, I expect the person who did it will be found, they obviously left some evidence behind.

48 Yeah. Gang bangers... September 12, 2013 at 10:47 PM

…on Mt. Diablo. They protecting that valuable “middle of nowhere on an inactive volcano” turf? #20 do you even think before you talk?

It was likely an accident. No one is dry humping over taking your guns away…but don’t act like every licensed gun owner is a Mensa member either, let alone a responsible weapons owner.

49 Larry September 12, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Nonsense, guns don’t start fires, probably the cigarette butt tossed on the ground! When in doubt, blame the gun, not the careless smoker!

50 Dr. Jellyfinger September 12, 2013 at 11:09 PM

Yeah… being a volcano I’m actually surprised Mt. Diablo isn’t on fire more often. Now I know that somebody will say “Mt. Diablo was never a volcano, but these “Diablo Denier’s” are wigged out, knuckle dragging, flat earther types. They deny Global Warming/Climate Change exists. They actually have the nerve to reject junk science!

51 G September 12, 2013 at 11:10 PM

So I saw all the donations for the firefighters at the Fire Station.
According to a wife of a strike team member, their food provision were pretty bad..and they never saw any donated…or good food. This was a Strike team from another long distance area stationed on Morgan Territory. Really…? What happened to all the donations? Is this the way that local and outside strike teams are fed…and thanked? I am very disappointed if the donations never connected with the crews… Mayor? maybe this needs to be checked out to make sure all good intentioned donations get delivered to the needed locations in the future

52 A. Suming September 12, 2013 at 11:16 PM

Did somebody see people target shooting, or did they just hear the fireworks?…. err, I mean “gunshots”

53 busted knuckle September 13, 2013 at 12:03 AM

Hey while we’re throwing blame around how do we know it wasn’t some irresponsible horse that started the fire. After all they have steel nailed to their feet might have struck a rock caused a spark and flame on. Do you know where your horses were when fire started. Maybe we should ban horses from the dry areas of the mountain unless they’re wearing rubber shoes.

54 anon September 13, 2013 at 2:17 AM

Hey in the godfather young Vito Corleone shoots the black hand guy and a fire started. If it was in a movie then it must be true.

55 ck September 13, 2013 at 4:22 AM

A bullet could produce sparks or in other ways start a fire on its own, but highly unlikely. The muzzle flash is much more likely to start a grass fire, as fire can sometimes reach 10 feet out of the end of gun firing. However, been out there many times. Most days, at least in the 80’s , you could hear guns firing somewhere, target practice, whatever. In the distance. So if all they have is a report of someone hearing gun fire and there was a fire that is pretty flimsy proof of a gun starting this fire, more like a wild guess…. Until they have proof. So don’t jump the gun yet… ( I heard the fire started near the road as you turn onto Morgan territory near that old mine? Anytime a fire starts near a road it can be a number of things that could have started it, then go down the list from there, near a home, a path, human activity somewhere, chain saw, you name it. There are as many ways a fire can start as you could possibly imagine, from even a broken bottle making a magnifying type effect. So again, just by a report of hearing gun shots they come up with this? “”Sunday afternoon appears to have been sparked by target shooting, Cal Fire officials announced this afternoon.”” Well lets see the Rest of their evidence before we decide. Does seem fishy to me at this point…

56 Jds September 13, 2013 at 6:30 AM

The fire was absolutely caused by target shooting. The shooters admit this.
They did have a fire extinguisher and put out a small fire that started.
When they left, an ember that was still smoldering kicked the fire back up.
It is perfectly legal to shoot guns where they were rather shooting.

I see nothing wrong with shooting guns outside city limits. That’s one of the reasons some people move out to the country. To get away from all the rules of the city. I’m sure the shooters feel terrible and they have learned a tough lesson here, as should anyone who target shoots out in the country.
Think about how many hundreds of thousands of rounds a shot in that area every year. This was a freak accident, that’s it.

Reading these comments reminds me how bad I want to leave this liberal state full of bozos.

57 Antler September 13, 2013 at 7:04 AM

In Siskiyou County, even in the very rural area where we have property, there is to be no shooting within a quarter mile of a dwelling (because ammo travels a whole lot farther than most non-shooters realize…actually, more than a quarter mile in some cases). I don’t know about directives in Contra Costa County; but the Morgan Fire started very close to residences….so target shooting there would be stupid whether it’s the law or not….and whether the conditions were “parchment dry” or not!

58 Smokey September 13, 2013 at 7:17 AM

I’ve heard of bullets causing fires, but I don’t see how that happens. Bullets are lead and I don’t think one would spark if it hit a rock. Is a bullet hot enough when it lands to start a fire?

59 Anon September 13, 2013 at 7:35 AM

Sorry but I recall an episode of myth busters, great show, where they tried tracer rounds to get a gas tank to catch fire. It didn’t work. The only time I can remember that they were able to do it, was with a ma dues at full auto on a tree stump. Still sounds like CalFire is being used as a propaganda machine by state legislator.

60 Nuts September 13, 2013 at 7:38 AM

It lacks credibility.

61 ANNONeeemoose September 13, 2013 at 7:54 AM

Here is what I heard from a resident. Old man (In his 80’s) owns large property and heard shooting. He found some folks (I think he knew them, maybe related) shooting and that a fire had started. I’m not 100% sure the correlation between the shooting and fire, as some above said it can cause fire, some said it can’t, so not sure on that. They called the FD and worked to put it out w/ a fire extinguisher. It was almost out by the time CalFire showed. They helped mop up and called off any back up – they thought they had it… after canceling their back up , they noticed fire up the hill… and the rest is history. Maybe there should be procedures in place for not waving off back up in an area like that until it is more thoroughly checked.

62 @48 September 13, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Have you driven out towards the regional preserve on Morgan Territory? As you head out that way, you will start to see gang graffitti on the pavement, on the bathrooms, and the bathrooms have bullet holes. Gang members definitely frequent the more remote sections.

@Jds – just curiously, where exactly were they shooting that’s legal there? It looked to me like it started in the State Park. Is there more to it than that? Was it on private property?

63 Same thing happened at Oakland Hlls Fire in 1991 September 13, 2013 at 8:57 AM

fire started on Saturday, FD responded and put it out…..so they thought….wind kicked up early next morning and rekindled fire…..rest is history.

Now, after most wildfires, Oakland stations a truck for 24 hours after fire is extinguished.

64 Atticus Thraxx September 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Anon #59 I have personally seen 7.62 tracers out of M-60s ignite dried brush at ranges in Grafenwoehr Germany. My own eyes did witness this. That’s also where I learned wild pigs love them some Wheat Thins.
If you’ve ever done a night shoot and there are iron frames holding up targets or iron popups you will see an occasional small spark when firing copper jacketed rounds. I don’t know the metallurgy involved. Just hard to believe it’s enough to start a fire.

65 Mike Oxhard September 13, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Personally I feel the fire was started by Obama supporters to take the good people of Claytons focus away from the on-going issue in Syria.

You should be ashamed of yourselves!!!

66 BDuns September 13, 2013 at 11:02 AM

NOT ALL BULLETS ARE LEAD/COPPER.

There is plenty of both modern manufacture and military surplus ammo that is lead core with a “bimetal” jacket, meaning the outer part of the projectile is a copper/steel alloy.

I also have surplus ammo that is steel core with a steel jacket…was cheap for Russia to make for their military.

I know better and only shoot that in the winter, NEVER in the summer. A steel projectile traveling at 2,800 feet per second can throw sparks off of nearly anything it hits.

67 Craig September 13, 2013 at 11:08 AM

If target practice was the cause of the fire, just accept it!!!

68 anon September 13, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Folks sitting around at Ed’s seem to know who the target practice shooter is, not that we would ever see that name here. Probably just as well to let it all settle anyhow.

69 Blah Hunter September 13, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Great, another excuse for ignorant librals to hate guns.

70 Mike Townsend September 13, 2013 at 11:43 AM

STEEL core ammo can certainly cause a fire when bounced off of a rock in dry grass. It’s amazing that some of the gun owners here that have posted are totally oblivious to this. Perhaps it is a convenient omission on their part.

71 But wait! September 13, 2013 at 12:13 PM

@#69,
But wait! I am an ignorant liberal but I love guns! I just hate morons who target shoot out in the middle of tinder-dry fields.

As for hot lead, it sure is. I was shootimg next to some moron at the Evora range when for some unknown reason he decided to move way too close to me when he shot and his shell ejected down my v-neck shirt. Yeow! Still have the scar. At least the rangemaster kicked the guy out. If my skin had been dry grass out in Clayton I have no doubt it would have ignited.

72 who's dat firebug... September 13, 2013 at 12:33 PM

maybe the boys down at the clayton club will het liquored up later and go have themselves a necktie party…

73 Bullwinkle September 13, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Mr. Mayor…I had heard a report earlier that it was caused by a tow truck?

74 Hmmmmmm? September 13, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Is it possible the responsible is an officer or friend/family member and we won’t see charges filed? Why is this person’s identity still hush-hush?

75 ophir September 13, 2013 at 3:44 PM

You want evidence that bullets start fires? See link:

http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_rp104.html

76 Dennis September 13, 2013 at 3:58 PM

@#71 if that shell was 451 degrees fahrenheit (Flash point of paper), it would still be fused into your chest now.

77 Dennis September 13, 2013 at 4:01 PM

@#70 hint: steel core, uranium core, tracers, are all illegal. Are you saying those laws are an epic fail, and should be repealed?

78 Wake Up People! September 13, 2013 at 4:04 PM

NO NO NO!! FALSE FLAG ATTACK TO TAKE AWAY OUR GUNS AND BRING US TO A POLICE STATE SHEEPLE!! DON’T LET THE PRIVATE INTERESTS WIN ARM YOUR SELVES WE CAN STOP THE ZIONIST MACHINE!

79 @ophir September 13, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Thanks for that “proof” from the entity that wants to take our rights away especially gun rights.. get real

80 Dennis September 13, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Bullets cause fires every time. All those drive-by shootings you hear about? The victims are always wearing white wife-beater t-shirts, and every one of those burst into flames when hit by a bullet! Bullets don’t kill them, it is the spontaneous combustion of the wife-beaters to blame.
yessir, every bullet hole is charred!

81 slagheap September 13, 2013 at 4:32 PM

@sacto rob: you need your head examined – you’re also pathetically ill-informed about the rim fire ( in addition to everything & anything else. )

82 slagheap September 13, 2013 at 4:36 PM

if the level of ignorance displayed by ( supposed ) gun owners here is any indicator, we’re in worse trouble than i thought. also, the ” false flag, ” & other ” gun grabbers ” conspiracists…do you people realize you may very well be insane?

83 Law Abiding Citizen September 13, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Yes bullets ricocheting can cause sparks, BUT is there PROOF that this fire was started by that?

84 ChampagneKitty September 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM

To Wake Up People! #78: False flag attack? Police state? Zionist machine? What in the world are you talking about? And why are you shouting?

85 anonanonagain September 13, 2013 at 4:50 PM

They have called experts in to determine the point where the fire began and what caused it. People that love guns don’t want to hear about this fact and blame this on a radical government. Come on!!! When are you whiners going to quit bellowing about a conspiracy of the government?? This was a fire and whoever is responsible for starting it should be charged for the amount of damage, the number of resources used to battle it, including planes, helicopters and additional firemen. This is a tragedy of a grand scale….

86 Law Abiding Citizen September 13, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Sill no proof, “appears to have been sparked by target shooting”

I agree that shooting guns at certain objects can cause sparks and am not defending the people who were shooting if that is the case. MOST of us LAW ABIDING who shoot guns do it safely. Accidents can happen.

Its such a coincidence though that “it appears to have been sparked by target shooting” comes at the same time as a bunch of gun bills are being passed to restrict you to keep track of what, how many bullets you get to buy, ban a lot of regular rifles you and I might own and make you and I a felon. Plus they want to make you buy a purchase permit to buy ammo.

more fees, more taxes to keep paying for more crap they shouldnt be spending on in the first place.

87 concordian September 13, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Somebody lock this thread down quick, there is way too much stupid going on in here.
couple things if I may from just the last be posts, no time for the rest

#72 your’re le douche, gtfo.

&

dennis seems confused. fused to skin is a interesting statement. Fused generally indicates it would be permanently attached… i am not a doctor but that seems unlikely with soft tissue. also steel core restrictions apparently don’t extend to rifle cartridges. quit troll’in man

i think there are two posts in the thread that actually may have some merit as to the truth. unfortunately they have been completely glazed over. typical mindless angry babel.

o yea. people other than just “gang bangers” do participate in graffiti, just so you know

88 concordian September 13, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Hold up dennis… embarrassingly i am probably wrong about the bullets. although it sounds like this may have occurred on private land/not under the jurisdiction of the blm. i’m unclear as to the lawfulness of the steel core

89 Anon September 13, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Starting the rumors already, I see. Why don’t we let the investigation run its course? Or do the armchair quarterbacks already “know it all?”

90 Colt September 13, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Are we really going on a witch hunt over what caused the spark? If so we are wasting our energy on something that is inevitable. What surprises me, is that everybody is so surprised about there having been a fire in the middle of a dry summer, in a place that is normally as dry as a desert to begin with. Yes we live in an arid climate, and this area normally would be a desert if it wasn’t for the recurring rain blown in every winter from the Alaskan coast.(Specifically we live in a “Hot-Summer Mediterranean climate” for you geographers out there) Wild Fires are common place in areas like this, and in fact are part of nature. Even if we decided not only to ban guns, but to completely leave this place behind and let it be only natural, there would still be just as many, if not more wild fires. However there is one thing that we have done in recent years to make the wildfire danger worse. As one other person actually realized as well, taking the cattle off of the hills they used to all graze on, has left them very overgrown and untended. Cattle are a great and cheap way of taking care of overgrowth safely, unfortunately if we fail to do so, nature will use wildfire to do it for us. Banning guns and cigarettes isn’t going to prevent wildfires, (especially since no matter how hard you enforce the laws you pass, there will always be people who break them) but there are measures we can take to help lesson how many we have. They include things like clearing overgrowth, having adequate fire fighters ready to end small blazes, and just making sure the local citizenry know when to watch out for and how to put out any flare ups they see. No matter what we do though, there are going to be fires, and one of the most tried and true things to do is have controlled burns. Its a common method that our local firefighters already use in the area. (usually near main roads) So please end this nonsense over whether or not it was caused by a gun or cigarette. The person pointing the finger at the gun owners today, might be the same person who’s car breaks down and starts tomorrow’s wildfire. IF it was the fault of an actual person, it was likely an ACCIDENT!

91 Dennis September 13, 2013 at 7:46 PM

My point being that the ‘target shooters’ are much more likely to tell their granddad that it was a bullet that started the fire instead of saying their crack pipe fell into a ravine and broke.
or whatever. Maybe the blame can be laid off on the shooters, but pinning the cause down to shooting instead of other behavior by the shooters is speculation at this point.
of course there are numerous people, ever on this thread, sitting and waving their hands in the air (“Pick me! Pick me!”), just waiting for a “community organizer” to put together a lynch mob. Objective: those evil guns.
It is that willful rush to judgement that is the bigger threat to society.

92 Dennis September 13, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Essentially, the title of the thread should say “shooters” not “shooting”. That, however has nearly as little gee-golly as saying it was caused by hikers, fishermen, or an out-of-control picnicer.
.

93 concordian September 13, 2013 at 8:39 PM

agreed dennis. the argument about guns is pointless. I don’t have any; but have nothing against them and feel the present limitations are mostly adequate. needless to say banning/restricting them is not going to reduce anything, IMO. akin to the war on drugs. the idea that this story was somehow orchestrated to bolster ongoing gun restricting campaigns, is laughable. anyway, i think the legality regarding location and type of the shooting are mostly in question here, IE the shooter, not the gun. further more it’s most likely an honest accident… where commonsense was the only law broken. if thats the case its just a sad story :(

I think this page is of interest to this conversation, i didn’t have this info.
http://claytonpioneer.com/claytonpioneer/bocce-courts-info-meetings/

94 SpehlCzech September 13, 2013 at 8:40 PM

An AP story from July 2012
Headline: Guns Blamed For Starting Wildfires In Parched West
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/guns-blamed-starting-wildfires-parched-west

“This year, officials believe target shooting or other firearms use sparked at least 21 wildfires in Utah and nearly a dozen in Idaho. Shooting is also believed to have caused fires in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.”

95 Laura Zah September 13, 2013 at 8:41 PM

Well hell yes! Whoever started it needs to be held accountable. It does not matter if it was accidental or pure stupidity, target shooting or playing with firecrackers, negligence or whatever. You can’t just give the guilty a pass. People need to be responsible for their actions ( BTW – that would include sneaking into the USA illegally).

96 Anon September 13, 2013 at 9:42 PM

@spehl #94…..

In both cases, shooting is “believed” to have caused fires.

I have no problem with holding people accountable for their actions – but it can’t stop with this. Accountability is MUCH more than a fire; it’s an individual’s actions addressing everything he does……across society.

We need to hold the politicians accountable; why don’t we do that, as a start?

Why don’t we hold the voters accountable for the low percentage of voting turnout?

Ya know why? People can’t handle accountability and responsibility. It’s all about me me me, I want, I want, and outright greed. That goes for everyone – and those who deny it are probably the worst offenders.

97 Lime Ridge September 14, 2013 at 9:10 AM

So the shooters started a small fire and the the incompetence of the firefighters caused the 4,000 acre fire.

No wonder the fire investigators “aren’t releasing information to the public.”

98 Kirk September 14, 2013 at 9:28 AM

If lightning started it would you arrest the clouds?

Forest fires happen. They are a natural and healthy part of wilderness life cycle. Don’t live in the woods if you can’t deal with it. There will be another big fire on the mountain in the next ten years probably.

Disasters happen, the government can’t save you, people in Colorado understand that better than you do. Realize the danger, make a plan, live your life. Get good insurance.

If it isn’t malicious it wasn’t a crime, for you lynch mob types, when your kid causes a traffic accident are you going to scream for his blood or lawyer up?

Are you ready for the next big quake? Or is the plan to wait until it happens then cry and point fingers?

99 @concordian September 14, 2013 at 9:48 AM

If you are referring to my comment in #62 about the graffiti, I understand that not all graffiti is gang related. The graffiti I am speaking of is most definitely confirmed hispanic gang graffiti and was most certainly done by Norteno gang members. I did not post the original gang banger comment, but the wrong element definitely passes through that area and has loitered in the more remote areas between Livermore and Clayton. It also appears the same gang members were shooting as that damage seems to be found clumped together. I’m not saying I think gang members started this fire, but #48 posted a rude comment to #20 that left me wondering if #48 was even familiar with that road.

100 Brian Griffin September 14, 2013 at 12:15 PM

you always read about fires started by bullets in the wild west days… Cough..

101 Atticus Thraxx September 14, 2013 at 3:11 PM

There ya go being all reasonable and what not Kirk. You must be new around these parts. ;)

102 G September 16, 2013 at 11:41 PM

Some videos of the fire. http://youtu.be/pZoIyz-2j44

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