Fire sparks from tracer round at shooting range |

Fire sparks from tracer round at shooting range

Tonya Bina

PARSHALL – The third fire since the fall of 2010 was put out at the Byers Canyon Shooting Range on Saturday, June 2.

At about 3:30 p.m., the Hot Sulphur Springs-Parshall Fire Department was called out to a small fire at the range, which was determined to have started from an individual shooting tracer rounds illegally.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials cited Larry Vair, 40, of Broomfield, for illegally using tracers, which is a $50 fine plus surcharges, bringing the fine to $70.

The fire was less than a quarter acre behind the target of one shooting lane, according to Hot Sulphur Springs Parshall Fire Chief Brad White. The weather at the time with rising humidity aided firefighters in controlling the burn, he said.

As many as 13 firefighters plus Grand County Sheriff’s personnel were on scene, and the fire was extinguished within an hour, White said.

“We remind people that using this kind of ammunition, especially this time of year, can lead to serious circumstances,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Mike Porras. “We ask people to be responsible.”

Vair had turned himself in after the incident, according to Porras.

Signs alerting individuals to the fact tracers are illegal are clearly posted at the shooting range.

Tracer rounds glow, making projectiles visible to the naked eye. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission made shooting tracer rounds illegal at shooting ranges in May 2011. In its change to regulations, the state prohibits the use of tracer rounds, armor-piercing rounds, military-hardened rounds with explosive or radioactive substances, .50 caliber BMG rounds and fully automatic firearms on all state wildlife lands and state trust lands.

A larger fire at the same shooting range – also started from tracer ammunition – occurred in March, as well as another in October 2010.

Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603