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Officials Blame Outdoor Target Shooters For Surge In SoCal Wildfires

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SAN DIEGO (CBS) — A sharp increase in the number of Southland wildfires are being sparked by outdoor target shooters, according to state fire officials.

KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reports in 2011 so far, 10 fires have been caused by target shooting in San Diego County compared with two at the same time last year.

Mike Mullen with Cal Fire said oftentimes shooters won’t even bother to use plain common sense.

“They’re not looking actually behind their targets,” said Mullen. “These ammunition are hitting rocks, they’re actually going past the targets they were intended to hit into vegetation.”

Mullen advises shooters to only use areas specifically approved for target shooting and has proper brush clearance.

Hot weather can also play a factor in shooting safety.

“You don’t want to be outside in 100 degrees with 3 percent humidity, when fire conditions are ripe,” said Mullen.

Authorities also urged target shooters to shoot during early morning hours and on an actual target range.

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