OGDEN, UTAH (ABC4 News) – The Utah Division of Wildlife is closing 17 of its wild life management areas to recreational shooting, due to wild life concerns.
Signs like this one warn visitors firearm shooting is temporarily prohibited, due to extreme fire danger.
28 fires have been caused by target shooting just this season, costing nearly 1 million dollars to tax payers, according to Utah Fire Info.
“The conditions are hot, really dry, which is perfect for you know, fueling wild fires,” said Faith Heaton Jolley, the Public Information Officer for Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
There have been 792 human caused wildfires this year.
“Because things are still so hot and dry we thought this would probably be smart just to prevent any more wildfires this season,” she added.
DWR officers are enforcing the restriction.
“There could be potential citations and potentially fines,” said Jolley.
The shooting restrictions at 17 wildlife management areas are mostly in central and northern Utah, due to their popularity, DWR leaders say.
“We’re working with the local fire officials on when they think it’s safe to resume target shooting again,” she said.
DWR Leaders say preserving wildlife habitat is vital. Hunting is still allowed in designated areas.
“There are a lot facilities, public, private, around the state that people can still utilize during this short, temporary closure,” said Jolley.
Weber County Sport Shooting is one of those facilities. Volunteers encourage northern Utah shooters to come to their indoor/outdoor range, to continue practicing their target shooting.
See a list of locations where target shooting is restricted.