Recently, the Pyramid Fire burned near 300 acres north of Reno, Nevada and was said to have been started by target shooters who fled the area without reporting the blaze. The BLM notes on it’s website that campfires cause only three-percent of the fires, whereas shooting over 34-percent as it points to target shooting causing other fires in Nevada, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona and Washington.
Following a July wildfire on BLM managed lands in Lemmon Valley, also north of Reno, a BLM fire investigator stated, “Steel core, lead core or copper core has the potential to start fires,” adding, “every time a high velocity round would hit a rock like this, it would fragment into hot pieces.”
The investigator may have been talking about a USDA study on whether or not outdoor target shooting was the source of many wild land fires. In that 2013 report, researchers claim they found once certain bullets fragmented, they would ignite the peat moss in the collector box.
According to this study, pieces of the steel core can be 1,200 degrees. Furthermore, the study claims it only takes 600 degrees to ignite cheatgrass, yet the study’s author USDA’s Mark Finney told an ABC affiliate in Denver:
“We designed an apparatus that consisted of a steel deflector plate and a box at the bottom called a ‘collector box’ that we could fill with various materials that could be tested for ignition.”
“The bullet by itself isn’t very hot until it strikes something very solid,” Finney added. “The process of deforming it…is what heats it up.”
In fact the study reads in part, “Bullets were fired at a steel plate that deflected fragments downward into a collection box containing oven-dried peat moss. We found that bullets could reliably cause ignitions, specifically those containing steel components (core or jacket) and those made of solid copper.”
As any scout, from Cub to Eagle, can tell you this is the same method used to start a campfire; striking a piece of metal like the edge of a knife against a fire-starter, which is a piece of high carbon or alloyed steel. The knife (bullet) hits the fire-starter (steel plate) causing sparks to fall on the tinder (peat moss)and like that a fire begins.
So needless to say, research like this appears to be yet another way for our federal tyrants to further restrict our Second Amendment rights.