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State forester imposes fire restrictions, including ban on certain ammo

Published: Tuesday, July 3 2012 6:22 p.m. MDT

Read more: Fire Watch: The latest Utah wildfire developments including maps, photos, stories and real-time Twitter updates

Read more: Fireworks restrictions will be taken seriously by police and residents

SALT LAKE CITY — The state forester Tuesday imposed fire restrictions, including use of certain types of ammunition, in all unincorporated private and state lands as new blazes raged across Utah.

Citing current and forecasted weather conditions, dry land and heavy vegetation, state forester Dick Buehler determined that measures must be taken to "prevent costly and damaging" forest and rangeland fires. The order does not apply to incorporated cities and towns.

Activities prohibited until Buehler rescinds the order are:

1. Setting, building or using open fires of any kind, except campfires built in facilities provided for them in improved campgrounds, picnic areas or permanent improved places of habitation.

2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared mineral soil.

3. Discharging or using any kind of fireworks, tracer ammunition or other pyrotechnic devices.

4. Cutting, welding or grinding metals in areas of dry vegetation.

5. The use of any steel-jacketed or steel-core ammunition of any caliber.

6. Use of exploding targets that are detonated when struck by a projectile such as a bullet from a firearm.

State officials determined Monday that authority to impose restrictions rests with the state forester. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert suggested earlier he may have the ability to ban fireworks and target shooting statewide, but said after a meeting with legislative leaders and state attorneys that he didn't want to have that theory tested in court.

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