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LEWIS COUNTY, Wash. -- Exploding targets, like the one that sparked a spring wildfire in Lewis County, are a growing concern for state fire investigator Aaron Schmidt.

The targets are made with fuel and chemicals and explode when they are shot.

They've been blamed for three fires across the state this past year, including the Dog Mountain fire on Port Blakely Tree Farms property near Morton, Wash.

I never heard of them before, said Port Blakely President Court Stanley.

Port Blakely lost thousands of Douglas Firs in the 200-acre fire in early May.

This was the biggest fire we've ever had, said Stanley, who would like the state to enact a ban on exploding targets on private property.

Currently the targets are banned on federal land and publicly-owned property like state parks and forests.

The Department of Natural Resources is investigating the fire, but has not identified any suspects.

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