Fire danger means no shooting on state lands
August 20, 2020
To help prevent wildfires, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has temporarily banned the discharge of firearms for target-shooting or other purposes by anyone not engaged in lawful hunting effective last Saturday.
This ban applies to 3 million acres of DNR-managed lands which include state forests, community forests, and forested state lands.
"We are entering a period of hot, dry weather across our state, including the highest temperatures we've seen all year," said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz in announcing the ban. "As conditions get hotter and drier, wildfire risk increases significantly, and we must take reasonable steps to prevent human-caused fires.
"I know this is an inconvenience for recreational target shooters, but we must do all that we can to ensure that our firefighters do not have to put their lives on the line to fight a preventable fire. When conditions improve, it will be lifted. But for now, we must put the safety of our communities and firefighters first."
Discharging firearms poses a greater risk in dry conditions as bullets pass through decayed wood, cause sparks off rocks, or break into fragments in dry grass. This year, DNR has already responded to a greater number of fires than the ten-year annual average.
This temporary rule does not restrict hunting.
A burn ban is currently in effect on DNR lands statewide, and fire danger on most of the east side is rated as “high” or “extremely high.” Residents should check burn bans in their areas.
Anyone who spots a wildfire should call 911 as soon as possible to report it.