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:

Dillon Sanders looks on as a collection of wildland firefighters train for an upcoming season. Sanders is the owner of Inbound LLC in Oakridge, Oregon, which runs 20-person hand crews and 13 engines for fire suppression. CREDIT: TONY SCHICK

Fire Camp Germ Spread Is Dicey In Normal Times. COVID-19 Could Rip Through Crews This Season

This year, fire camp could be as dangerous as the wildfires, and top Western managers are deep in planning how to make fire camps COVID-19 ready for fire crews. Hilary Franz is Washington’s commissioner of public lands. She says state, federal, tribal and local officials are trying to make fighting wildfires safe during a pandemic. Continue Reading Fire Camp Germ Spread Is Dicey In Normal Times. COVID-19 Could Rip Through Crews This Season

Information on public fire danger signs comes from the Nation Fire Danger Rating System, which is being updated for the first time in more than four decades. CREDIT: JACOB FRANK/NPS

Northwest Fire Season Forecast: A Significant One, As Study Says People Should Prepare Long-Term

As the climate warms, fire seasons will get worse – that’s especially true for low-elevation ponderosa pine forests east of the Cascades. According to a University of Washington study published in the journal Fire Ecology, wildfires there will be larger and more frequent.
Continue Reading Northwest Fire Season Forecast: A Significant One, As Study Says People Should Prepare Long-Term