Three fire trucks damaged while fighting fire started by exploding targets

Shooters using exploding targets start 160-acre fire near Salina, Kansas.

exploding target
File photo of exploding target. Photo courtesy of Minnesota DNR.

A sheriff’s office spokesperson said the people who started a 160-acre fire using exploding targets did nothing illegal, according to the Salina Journal, in spite of the fact that it took firefighters from four fire districts to suppress the fire which threatened homes and damaged fence posts and three fire trucks.

Not everyone who starts wildfires with exploding targets gets a free pass from law enforcement. For example, Tristan C. Olson, of Missoula and Caitlin E. Hoover, of Stevensville, Montana were ordered to pay $9,450 in restitution after starting a fire that burned 50 acres east of Florence, Montana in 2014.

Apparently exploding targets are popular in Kansas. After numerous reports over the last week of two explosions near Wichita, KWCH news tracked down the source to five pounds of powder from explosive targets.

Exploding targets consist of two ingredients that when mixed by the end user create an explosive when shot by a high-velocity projectile. They have caused many fires since they became more popular in recent years, have been banned in some areas, and caused the death of one person. In June, 2013 a man attending a bachelor-bachelorette party in Minnesota was killed after shrapnel from the device struck him in the abdomen causing his death. The Missoulian reported that two years ago a woman in Ohio had her hand nearly blown off while taking a cellphone video of a man firing at an exploding target placed in a refrigerator about 150 feet away.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “Three fire trucks damaged while fighting fire started by exploding targets”

  1. They should be banned!!!
    Or confirm to strict regulations or when and where they can
    be used.


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