Due to wildfires, the Humboldt-Toiyable National Forest has instituted a temporary shooting restriction. The restriction went into effect on Friday, June 30 and will remain until Saturday, Sept. 30 unless condition changes.

The Carson Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyable National Forest encompasses over 400,000 acres in Nevada (136,232 acres and California (270,208 acres).

The forest experienced an extremely wet winter which led to higher than normal grass growth. The current stretch of hot weather has increased the fire danger by drying out the grasses and elevating the risk of human-caused fires.

“This temporary shooting restriction will prohibit people who are not hunting from discharging firearms on the Carson Ranger District,” said District Ranger Irene Davidson. “The main purpose of this order is to enhance public safety and protect natural resources while the District’s fire conditions are at a dangerous level as evidenced by the recent rash of shooting-related fires.”

A release from the district states that in May and June, there have been nine fires that has burned over 500 acres (seven fires in Washoe and one in Church Hill Counties in Nevada and one in Alpine County, California) that were human caused and currently under investigation where target shooting has become the focus as the cause: two on private lands; four on Nevada Bureau of Land Management lands and three on Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest lands. The amount of shooting-related fires are above the average number for this time of year.

Violating the temporary shooting restriction is punishable by a fine up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail. In addition, anyone found responsible for starting a wildfire will be held civilly and criminally liable.

“U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement will be bringing in extra officers to patrol and enforce the temporary shooting restrictions on the Carson Ranger District,” said Don Harris, Patrol Captain with Forest Service Law Enforcement & Investigations.”

Forest officials suggest gun enthusiasts use private or county designated shooting ranges while the restriction is in effect.

To report illegal shooting on the Carson Ranger District while the temporary shooting restriction is in place, please contact either the Nevada Division of Wildlife 24-hour Dispatch Center at 775-688-1331 or 775-688-1332 (U.S. Forest Law Enforcement) or the Ranger District Office at 775-882-2766 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Never approach anyone that may be illegally shooting. Instead, get details and descriptions of the incident and turn them over to an enforcement agency.