Shooter at Carson rifle range sets 4 acres ablaze

A brush fire behind the city landfill quickly climbed a hill and grew to 4 acres Friday.

The fire, which started about 5:15 p.m., likely started by someone firing at the Carson Rifle Range, a BLM fire officer said.

Firefighters from several agencies attacked the blaze from the ground and the air using one helicopter and three air tankers to drop retardant.

Crews from the Bureau of Land Management, Carson City Fire Department, Nevada Department of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service expected to have the fire contained by 11 p.m., said Gary Johnson, assistant fire management officer for the Bureau of Land Management.

It was the third fire in the rifle range's west range area that is enclosed by small hills covered with dry grass, sage brush and pi-on.

"It's kind of a common occurrence," Johnson said. "We should be able to hold it."

Dwayne Milne of California said he had just arrived at the range for shooting practice when he saw the fire. He didn't think it could have started by gunfire as there were only three shooters practicing at the time and shooting into a short-range berm.

"The odd thing is, everybody was over here shooting," Milne said. "Nobody was shooting over there."

The fire was reported by a man using the range. The man, who asked not to be identified, said he first saw a small bush catch fire and waited three to four minutes to see if it would put itself out. He called in the fire after it began to grow, he said.

Deputies from the Carson City Sheriff's Department were called out to stop the shooting and close the rifle range as fire crews arrived.


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