No, Hunters Did Not Open Fire On Australian Firefighters In Washington Near White Pass

The Miriam Fire has been burning around Washington's White Pass since late July 2018. The Yakima County Sheriff's Office says Australian firefighters were not intentionally targeted and shot at by hunters in the area. CREDIT: JUSTIN GELB/INCIWEB
The Miriam Fire has been burning around Washington's White Pass since late July 2018. The Yakima County Sheriff's Office says Australian firefighters were not intentionally shot at. CREDIT: JUSTIN GELB/INCIWEB

 

An Australian newspaper is reporting that hunters shot at two firefighters from down under while they were battling the Miriam Fire near White Pass, Washington. But law enforcement has debunked the claim. 

According to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald, the shooting resulted in two arrests and drew attention from Australia’s Foreign Affairs Department and the FBI. Yakima County Sheriff’s office Spokesman Casey Schilperoort says that’s not accurate.

“When the (Washington) state patrol and our deputies arrived, they received more information from the firefighters, it was determined there were two males hunting in the area for bears,” he said. “Both hunters were contacted and they stated they had been shooting at the bear, but they missed multiple times.” 

Schilperoort said officers determined no one was being shot at intentionally. However, the hunters’ intentions have raised eyebrows. 

“When this call came out, I found it very weird that a hunter would be that opportunistic to be hunting in an area where the fire was at,” Schillperoort said. 

Discharging a firearm can cause a wildfire. The U.S. Forest Service issued citations to the hunters for violating a closure order.

 

Related Stories:

A line of wildland firefighters marches through the woods during the Yellowstone fires of 1988. The massive complex of fires, which burned more than 790,000 acres, was a transformative moment in the country's view of wildfire. CREDIT: NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Fighting Wildfire Is Risky. But It’s Become Riskier Than It Needs To Be

Federal and state agencies have come to realize fires should not be fought at all costs and, in fact, many should not be fought at all. Excluding natural fire led to forests burning in bigger, more destructive ways. Each year, hazardous fuels accumulate faster than we can reduce them through selective logging and burning. Continue Reading Fighting Wildfire Is Risky. But It’s Become Riskier Than It Needs To Be