Exploding target starts Rifle fire | PostIndependent.com

Exploding target starts Rifle fire

Mike McKibbin
Citizen Telegram Editor

RIFLE – The cause of Sunday’s 3-acre Fravert Reservoir brush fire has been determined to have been an exploding rifle target, according to Colorado River Fire Rescue authorities.

A responsible party has been identified but their identity is not being released, since no charges have been filed, said authority spokeswoman Maria Piña.

No structures were damaged and no injuries occurred in the fire, which was reported shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday. Fire crews from the Rifle stations of Colorado River Fire Rescue and the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit responded. Two single-engine planes dropped fire retardant on the blaze, which was declared fully contained around 10 p.m. Sunday, Piña said.

Exploding rifle targets are legal and consist of two inert components that, when mixed, blow up if impacted by a high-velocity projectile. The targets will not explode if they are dropped or lit on fire. It usually takes at least a 40-grain bullet with a velocity of 2,200 feet per second or more to detonate, according to a product description on Cabella’s web site.

Piña said the investigation is continuing, but it is possible the responsible party could be charged with starting a wild fire and be held responsible for firefighting costs.

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