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Officials warn of target shooting hazard in fire season

PHOENIX -- It's so dry in Arizona that just about anything can touch off a fire, including target shooting.

A small wildfire in Flagstaff earlier this week may have been started by someone shooting at clay pigeons. Two people in their late 20s or early 30s are being sought as persons of interest.

Jeff Walther with the Coconino National Forest in northern Arizona said there's no ban on target shooting, but people need to be careful.

"People need to have water with them and watch the area after they're done shooting to see if there's anything that may have started from target shooting," he said.

One of the most frequent causes of wildfires is people shooting guns. There have been more than 30 fires started by gunfire on the Tonto National Forest in the past five years.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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