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For what it's worth, the 9/12/07 edition of the Statesman Journal newspaper in Salem, Oregon, reported the following:

"A Salem man is accused of shooting tracer-type rounds from a high-powered rifle that started a Polk County wildfire, a blaze that burned 425 acres of private and public land.

"Eric Larkins, 40, of Salem was arrested about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday after he turned himself in at patrol headquarters, Polk County sheriff's spokesman Lt. Jeff Van Laanen said.

"The fire, known as the 1500 Road Fire, was reported about noon Saturday near Bald Mountain, five miles southwest of Falls City. About 425 acres of land protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry have burned.

"Larkin faces criminal charges of second-degree mischief and reckless burning, a class A misdemeanor.

"Deputy Brian Dunkin said that Larkins was target shooting in a rural area close to where the fire began Saturday. ... Larkins was with three to five other friends, shooting a military-style .50 caliber sniper rifle, when three shots were fired into a tree stump. The bullets were described as armor-piercing, incendiary, tracer-type rounds.

"When the group saw smoke from the stump, they tried to extinguish the fire, but it grew out of control. They fled and called 911 but did not claim responsibility."

There's more, including the fact that the shooters told police that a black SUV was seen in the area just before the fire -- an attempt to throw suspicion elsewhere. The fire was estimated by just one of the private landowners to cost upwards of $200k. You can check it out at:

www.statesmanjournal.com
 

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lies all lies...

just now found this post, while searching for something else...

the S-J article contains errors, probably due to misinformation provided by Polk county Sheriff's department... und i vas dere, Charley!

as one of the shooters, i wish to correct said errors to prevent further propagation!

once we realized that we could not stop the fire, we called it in. we offered to remain and help fight the fire- dispatcher TOLD US TO LEAVE. we did report a second vehicle in the area- which was the truth, not an attempt to confuse the issue!

Mr. Larkins was told by the PCSD that if he would turn in his rifle, he would not be arrested. he took the rifle to PCSD, and they immediately arrested him. at no time did the PCSD interview any of the adults in our party, but did attempt to interview a minor!

Mr. Larkins' atty. succeeded in squashing the charges- but PCSD refused for two years to return his rifle, and it was in poor condition at that time.

so much for PCSD, and the S-J...

alleyrunner
 

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I'm just amazed that people in Oregon are still allowed to have any guns. This reminds me, some stupid twunt in Portland still has a CZ 52 of mine.
 

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Back when I was in college and in ROTC we went for a weekend field exercise in rifle marksmanship with M16A1s. Also included was some live fire with a M-60 GPMG to get us familiar with it. Our range was maybe 300 meters long and targets were set up in front of back stop made of old railroad ties, dripping with creosote in the dessert sun. The M-60 was being fed standard ball-tracer mix, tracer burn out at roughly 600 meters. Sure enough, after a few bursts the railroad ties started to smoke from the tracer hits, then went up to full flaming fire. We put it out though, I doubt the weapons test range we were at would have been happy had we let the whole thing go up in flames. Was a good time for all, until the weapons cleaning at the National Guard armory.
 

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Actually, .50 API bullets are often the cheapest, as they were sold as surplus, and few ranges allow their use, creating a glut of API bullets, and far fewer ball, AP, or regular tracer bullets.
 
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