Outdoors

Goat Fire caused by shooters aiming at exploding targets

The sun and nearby clouds of smoke turn a brilliant red where a wildfire burns past the paved section of Number 1 Canyon Road Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, near Wenatchee, Wash. Crews in central Washington and Wyoming worked Monday to protect homes from two of the many wildfires burning throughout the West as a destructive fire season stretches into September with no relief expected from the weather anytime soon. The National Weather service issued red-flag warnings for wide swaths of eastern Washington and Oregon, Idaho, Montana and all of Wyoming, meaning conditions could exacerbate blazes. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
The sun and nearby clouds of smoke turn a brilliant red where a wildfire burns past the paved section of Number 1 Canyon Road Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, near Wenatchee, Wash. Crews in central Washington and Wyoming worked Monday to protect homes from two of the many wildfires burning throughout the West as a destructive fire season stretches into September with no relief expected from the weather anytime soon. The National Weather service issued red-flag warnings for wide swaths of eastern Washington and Oregon, Idaho, Montana and all of Wyoming, meaning conditions could exacerbate blazes. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

PUBLIC LANDS — Target shooters aiming at exploding targets last fall ignited the Goat Fire that burned 7,400 acres from Sept. 15 through early November and made life hell for Wenatchee region residents, according to a U.S. Forest Service report released today.

No arrests have been made, but the investigation continues.

Read on for the media release from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

WENATCHEE, Wash. – Last September’s Goat Fire was caused by people shooting at exploding targets, according to fire investigators for the U.S. Forest Service on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. 

No one has been charged yet. A follow-up investigation is ongoing.

Located three miles southwest of Pateros, WA., the Goat Fire started on the evening of September 15, 2012, and grew to more than 7,378 acres.

The fire burned mostly on National Forest land, but also burned on to adjacent Bureau of Land Management and private lands under State Department of Natural Resources protection.

The Goat Mountain Fire was declared controlled on November 9, 2012.

Goat Mountain contains numerous structures under special-use permit including: Cellular towers,local television broadcasting equipment, emergency services towers, and high voltage buried power lines.

The fire caused road closures and evacuations that affected many residents in the area.

The penalty for starting a wildfire could be criminal charges as well as payment of suppression costs and other damages.

Target shooters along with all forest users are encouraged to use care and check for local fire restrictions 




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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