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Klamath County wildfire linked to exploding targets

A wildfire that broke last week in Klamath County before closing roads and nearly threatening structures started with target shooters, investigators say.

The Stuckel fire, which fire officials say began Sunday about four miles southwest of the town of Olene and grew to more than 500 acres and could be seen from Klamath Falls, started with a target shooter identified as Dylan Acres, 39, and his two minor children, according to a release issued by Oregon State Police.

Acres first attempted to suppress the fire using a small extinguisher before fleeing the area and calling 911, police say.

Investigators reportedly seized evidence of exploding targets from an area used for target shooting.

The fire attacked steep grassy terrain on the west side of Stuckel Mountain, and required the use of nearly a dozen engines, two dozers, water tenders and out-of-season air resources, and closed six roads in places near the fire.

Fire officials describe the Stuckel fire as “close to containment,” and it’s expected to be fully contained by Monday.

Exploding targets have been a factor in other wildfires, and made national headlines earlier this month after a man was ordered to repay $220,000 in restitution after he shot a Tannerite target as part of a gender-revel party near Green Valley, Arizona and sparked a wildfire.

Acres has not yet been charged with a crime for his alleged involvement in the Stuckel fire, but Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement investigators will forward their findings to the Klamath County District Attorney’s office.

The South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership shared this photo of the Stuckel Mountain fire Oct. 14. Photo originally taken by KLAD-FM