Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Seeks Information from the Public on Poeville Fire

Contact(s): Erica Hupp 775-355-5311; Brian Rueblinger 775-355-5376

Carson City, NV – The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is seeking any information the public may have about the Poeville Fire that started at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, on the eastern slope of Peavine Mountain north of Reno, Nevada.

Forest Service fire investigators have confirmed the 69-acre fire was caused by target shooting. Anyone with information that might help the investigation is asked to call the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor’s Office in Sparks, Nevada, at 775-331-6444.

“Target shooting remains a very serious threat and fire danger to the wildland in Washoe County,” said Fire Chief Charles Moore for the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.  “Despite the winter season, conditions remain very dry.  We strongly encourage residents to refrain from outdoor activities that have a high potential to start a wildfire such as target shooting as we saw this with the Poeville Fire.” 

With the winter months being milder than normal this year more people are heading outdoors to areas free of snow. The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and Truckee Meadows Fire Department would like to remind the public to be extra cautious while engaging in activities that could start a wildfire.

“Fire prevention needs to be a priority for everyone taking part in open space recreation,” Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam said. “Limit activities so that you are fire safe and bring fire suppression equipment with you. In the event a fire does break out, do the right thing by contacting emergency responders immediately and staying on scene until they arrive, providing it is safe for you to do so.”

“We risk early wildfires when people are careless about target shooting.” said Forest Supervisor Bill Dunkelberger. “Shooting restrictions could be put in place unless everyone recreates responsibly.” 

Remember, a little extra care takes only a few minutes of a person’s time and could prevent a wildfire. Below are a few target shooting safety tips:

  • Know the weather conditions and fire restrictions before heading to public land to target shoot. Also, refrain from shooting during hot, dry, and windy conditions, especially on Red Flag Warning days.
  • While shooting, have a five gallon bucket of water or 2.5 pound fully charged fire extinguisher readily available to put out a fire if one starts.
  • Bring a shovel. Use the shovel to dig a trench around targets before shooting to ensure that any fire caused by sparks can be easily contained.
  • Place targets on dirt or gravel areas clear of vegetation. Placing a target in dry grass increases the risk of fire. Signs, kiosks, buildings, and plants are never targets.
  • Only shoot into a solid backstop.
  • Do not shoot trash and remove spent cartridges. Trash like old couches and TVs can often be found illegally dumped on public lands, but can be dangerous fire hazards when shot.
  • Be aware that ammunition can start fires under the right conditions. To avoid a chance of sparking, do not use solid copper, steel-core, or steel-jacketed ammunition and always avoid shooting in dry fuels or rocky areas.
  • Fireworks, exploding targets, and incendiary or tracer ammo are PROHIBITED on public lands.
  • Park your vehicle away from dry grass. While it may not seem like a hazard, the hot undercarriage of a car or truck can easily create enough heat to ignite the grass.
  • Please shoot responsibly, clean up after shooting to “Leave No Trace” ( and “Tread Lightly” on public land (