(Updated at 1:15 p.m. MDT April 28, 2017)
The U.S. Border Patrol has confirmed that one of their off duty agents is being investigated in the cause of the Sawmill Fire that has burned over 46,000 acres 23 miles southeast of Tucson, Arizona. In an email to several media outlets the public affairs office of the agency wrote:
We are aware that the Sawmill Fire investigation involves an off-duty Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent. The agent was involved in recreational shooting and immediately reported the fire after it begun. All questions regarding the investigation should be directed to the state fire agency.
The Green Valley News reported earlier that multiple sources they spoke with said a recreational shooter using exploding targets started what became the Sawmill Fire. Those reports also said the shooter tried to put it out, but when that failed, he notified authorities.
Exploding targets are known to have started numerous fires and are banned many areas.
On Thursday resources assigned to the Sawmill Fire included 799 personnel, 16 hand crews, 67 engines, and 5 helicopters. The suppression cost to date was $3 million.
Articles on Wildfire Today tagged exploding targets.