Basalt shooting range opens
Area gets a facelift, new rules after wildfire
The public shooting range at the Basalt State Wildlife Area has reopened after being closed for 18 days after a two-acre wildfire swept through the hills near the range.
During the closure, the range, a key component of the 4,700-acre wildlife area, was remodeled to reduce the chance of similar fires, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said.
Work included building a fire break, the removal of brush and the construction of a 20-foot high berm to stop bullets from hitting beyond the range.
It’s thought that sparks from bullets hitting rocks might have started the wildfire that burned to within 400 yards of a high-end Basalt condominium complex named Wilds on Promontory Lane, according to the fire dispatcher.
In addition to the physical changes, new rules have been instituted, including a no-smoking policy and prohibiting placing and shooting at targets beyond the 100-yard berm.
Other rules prohibiting the use of tracer rounds, steel-jacketed ammunition, exploding targets and the use of fully automatic firearms remain in place.
Perry Will, Area 8 wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, told The Aspen Times the estimated cost of the project was between $10,000 and $12,000. Part of the project was paid for by the Roaring Mountain Sportsmen’s Association with Parks and Wildlife paying the rest, Will said.
Will said Parks and Wildlife contributed in-house resources to build the berm taller and perform other work.
The shooting range, which includes a public pistol range, shotgun range and a 100-yard rifle range, is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
The shooting range has been on the Basalt State Wildife Area since the 1960s. Wildlife officials said it was the first fire reported at the range.