Coal 5 Fire on the Pawnee National Grassland

Release Date: Nov 30, 2012  

Contact(s): Reghan Cloudman

Greeley, Colo. (Nov. 30, 2012) – The Coal 5 Fire burned approximately six acres on the Pawnee National Grassland in an area popular with recreational shooters. The fire started approximately 12:30 p.m. yesterday.

This is one of more than a dozen fires caused by irresponsible recreational shooting on the grasslands in 2012. Dry conditions on the Pawnee National Grassland are ripe for fires.

Be aware of all regulations regarding recreational shooting and other activities before heading out. Pay close attention to the specific target regulations on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland:

  • Only shoot at cardboard/paper targets, manufactured metallic targets, or manufactured thrown-type clay targets. (Anything else, including exploding targets, is illegal.)

Tracer bullets and other incendiary ammunition are illegal under the Federal Code of Regulations (36CFR 261-5B). This violation carries a $525 to $5,000 fine and can include a mandatory Federal Magistrate Court appearance.

As a reminder, here are some other shooting rules and regulations on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland:

  • Shoot further than 150 yards from a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation area or occupied area. (This includes the Pawnee Bird Tour pull outs.)
  • Do not shoot across or on a National Forest System Road or adjacent body of water.
  • Do not shoot in any manner or place where any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge.
  • Do not possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage while discharging a fire arm.
  • The area located in Township 8N, Range 63W, Section 7 is closed to recreational shooting for ¼ mile south of Weld County Road 96 and ¼ mile west of County Road 63.
  • The area along County Road 61 is also closed to recreational shooting due to the lack of safe backstops.

Review and respect all signs on the PNG. They can help keep you from breaking the regulations noted above.  Visitors are asked to avoid congestion and safely disperse from other users and to only use the approved targets with a safe backstop. A safe backstop is one that can stop a bullet. Clean up your targets and do not attach targets to trees, fences, water tanks, windmills or other improvements. Be aware of livestock and other grassland visitors when shooting; keep your distance. Recreational shooting information is available online at Regulations for other activities can be found on the web at or call visitor information services at 970-346-5000.