LA VERKIN, Utah (ABC4) – A fire caused by ammunition burned 11 acres of land last Friday at the Iron County Shooting Range.

Mike Melton is an Area Fire Management Officer for the state’s Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands in Southern Utah. Just this year, officials say they have already seen nine fires that started from target shooting and exploding targets.

“Steel targets can cause, you know, sparks to be thrown, and we have problems with steel targets and steel jacketed ammo,” says Melton.

Melton says when shooting outdoors, you should check your back stop to see where your round is going and avoid vegetation.

“People go to start prepping for their hunt, they’ll shoot black powder in an area of dry grass, and the wad and debris from the powder, we’ve seen those start fires,” says Melton.

Officials say you could end up with a fine for starting a fun related fire that could cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“And be prepared, you know, having some water with you if you’re in doubt so you can take action on the fire while it’s very, very small,” says Melton.

Melton says to check weather conditions and go to Utahfireinfo.gov before recreating.

For more information: Utah – Recreational Shooting | BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (blm.gov)