Monday June 17, 2013
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Every newspaper, magazine, and radio and TV station in Arizona have been saying it over and over again for two months. This has been one of the driest years on record. There is a red flag fire danger! Exercise extreme caution!
Remember the 28 square mile Sunflower Fire that got our attention a few weeks ago? The one that is still only 80% contained, and will stay that way until we get some significant rain in the area? The one we only beat because it ran into already burned areas?
Guess how it got started?
Five men were out camping on a bachelor party at Sycamore Creek. They were doing some target shooting, and no doubt exercising extreme caution. Steven Craig Shiflet, with extreme caution, loaded his twelve gauge with a shotgun shell selected extremely cautiously from a box of shells which was extremely cautiously marked with this extremely cautious warning: "Shoots 100 feet of fire, setting everything in its path ablaze. Warning: Extreme FIRE HAZARD." With extreme caution he aimed his shotgun at an empty cardboard box and with extreme caution pulled the trigger.
A blast of flame at least 50 feet long, and perhaps even longer, set fire to the brush, which, of course, being bone dry, could not be put out.
Shiflet told investigators he called 911 from his cellphone to report the fire and was told to leave the area. Investigators tracked down the group through a license plate number on their vehicle. The five men in the group told nearly identical stories, so we are told.
The upshot is that Shiflet is facing three charges, each of which carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
There was no answer at potential phone listings for him and he did not have an attorney listed with the federal court.
Wise man. I would say he is being extremely cautious.
I have a photograph of what it looks like when one of those shotgun shells is fired. If you'd like a copy, send me your e-mail address.
You will not believe your eyes.
After seeing the picture I don't know why the shells are legal. What is their purpose?
There is another law for our hardworking law makers. (;
"What is their purpose?'
To set the woods on fire, I guess.
They could be illegal in Arizona. I don't know.
That's quite a picture, isn't it?
I'm sure John is taking a hard earned rest over the weekend, but I'm sending him that picture by e-mail. Maybe he and Pete will decide to publish it.
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