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Gunfire blamed for some US wildfires

It is believed that gunfire has sparked 21 fires in Utah, Idaho and across the American Southwest, yet officials are hesitant to restrict gun use for fear of a backlash.

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Gunfire from target ranges have been blamed for some US wildfires in the American West. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)

Gunfire from target ranges is being blamed for some wildfires across the US.

It is believed that gunfire has sparked 21 fires in Utah, Idaho and across the American Southwest, yet officials are hesitant to restrict gun use for fear of a backlash.

Many of the regions where the wildfires have occured are also the strongest proponents of second amendment rights.

"We're not trying to pull away anyone's right to bear arms. I want to emphasize that," Louinda Downs, a county commissioner in Davis County, Utah, told the Associated Press.

"We're just saying, target practice in winter. Target practice on the gun range. When your pleasure hobby is infringing or threatening someone else's right to have property or life, shouldn't we be able to somehow have some authority so we can restrict that?"

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According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the Republican governor of Utah took measures to stop target practice on public lands due to the risk of fire.

He insisted that he was not infringing on gun rights but rather was seeking a common-sense solution.

Statistics are difficult to come by as shooting does not feature on the federal government's list of forest fire causes.

This year has been the worst wildfire season on record in the American West.

According to Reuters, there are currently 50 wildfires burning out of control in 10 states, consuming hundreds of thousands of acres of land and hundreds of homes.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120704/gunfire-blamed-some-us-wildfires