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Old 10th September 2018, 05:52 PM   #1
arthwollipot
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Australian firefighters shot at while battling US wildfire

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/wor...10-p502x6.html

Quote:
Two Australian firefighters, on patrol with US Forest Service personnel in Washington state, were set upon by hunters, chased and shot at in an incident which has reached officials within the Foreign Affairs Department.

The incident, which took place on August 23, shook Australia's support operation in the northwest of the United States and led to demands for local fire services to upgrade security and guarantee the safety of the crew.

Nearly 80 Australian firefighters have been working with the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in northern California, Oregon and Washington since July, and were dispatched to the popular White Pass ski destination in August after fire spread across an eight square kilometre area.
The hunters who pursued the firefighters along a ridge and into a restricted area were arrested while the firefighters were safely airlifted out.

You're welcome, America.
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Old 10th September 2018, 05:55 PM   #2
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Uh, what? Do Aussie firefighters wear uniforms reminiscent of ISIS garb or something? Or possibly really life-like deer costumes?
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Old 10th September 2018, 05:56 PM   #3
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M... Murica?
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Old 10th September 2018, 05:58 PM   #4
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Normally people only get shot at in America if they're doing something suspicious, like being in their own homes.
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Old 10th September 2018, 06:03 PM   #5
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Who needs a wall.
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Old 10th September 2018, 06:13 PM   #6
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Responsible gun owners defending their forest from foreign invaders. I don't see the problem.
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Old 10th September 2018, 06:18 PM   #7
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I can't find any local reporting on this. Other sources say the incident happened near the White Pass ski area, which makes this:
Quote:
The remote area, 160 kilometres from Seattle, is close to land in Oregon where armed anti-government activists seized and occupied the wildlife refuge headquarters for more than a month.
pretty much BS, since White Pass is about 270 miles from Malheur.

I don't doubt something happened, but since August isn't usually hunting season, I'd guess it has more to do with poaching than Bundy.
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Old 10th September 2018, 06:21 PM   #8
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I too Googled for a local report -even a national one- but came up with only NZ and AUS sources.
Not that I necessarily doubt the veracity of such sources, I was hoping for more detail.
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Old 10th September 2018, 06:23 PM   #9
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The Canberra Times (a Fairfax Media source) lists the article as an Exclusive.
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Old 10th September 2018, 06:53 PM   #10
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Are illegal pot farms in Washington state national forests still a thing? Maybe they got too close.
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Old 10th September 2018, 06:53 PM   #11
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Sounds as if somebody got too close to somebody else's boo plantation.

Not hunters, gardeners.
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Old 10th September 2018, 06:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by sackett View Post
Sounds as if somebody got too close to somebody else's boo plantation.

Not hunters, gardeners.
If that caught alight, every stoner in WA would be standing downwind...
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Old 10th September 2018, 08:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
pretty much BS, since White Pass is about 270 miles from Malheur.
There was an old mining site that also had a standoff about that time as well. Something to do with mining permits and the belief that the government would not honor them and would seize equipment. Maybe something to do with that?

Pot farm sounds more likely though. Odd that they would follow a group like that, and odd that this does not appear to have been reported in the American papers.

ETA: This article has more: Two Australian firefighters were mistakenly shot at, according to local reports

Quote:
“These two men were hunting a bear, the bear was wounded, they were going after it and firing in the direction of the bear which happened to be in the direction of a firefighting team,” Meyers told Melbourne’s 3AW this morning.

‘It prompted a fire incident management team to order a full shutdown with everybody sheltering until they could sort this whole thing out.”

While it is legal to hunt bears in the state, Meyers said it was very unusual to be hunting during wildfires, especially when the area was closed off to the public.

Despite reports of the two hunters being arrested over the incident which also involved two local officers, Meyers confirmed no charges have been laid.
Firing at the sound of something moving through the brush? Still really odd.

Last edited by crescent; 10th September 2018 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 10th September 2018, 09:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
There was an old mining site that also had a standoff about that time as well. Something to do with mining permits and the belief that the government would not honor them and would seize equipment. Maybe something to do with that?

Pot farm sounds more likely though. Odd that they would follow a group like that, and odd that this does not appear to have been reported in the American papers.

ETA: This article has more: Two Australian firefighters were mistakenly shot at, according to local reports

Firing at the sound of something moving through the brush? Still really odd.
Hunting accident, and here we were all sure it was right-wing anti-gov guys. At least it only took 13 posts to get to the facts. That's pretty good.

It's sadly not uncommon for people to be accidentally shot by hunters. Idiots not making sure of their target, drinking beer while hunting, crap like that.
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Old 10th September 2018, 09:10 PM   #15
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Hunting bears in a wildfire zone that was closed to the public? It's almost like they don't think the rules even apply to them.
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Old 10th September 2018, 09:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Hunting bears in a wildfire zone that was closed to the public? It's almost like they don't think the rules even apply to them.
Well yeah, but that's another issue.
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Old 10th September 2018, 09:19 PM   #17
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The fact that there's no valid reason to hunt and kill bears is another nother issue. But it's all the same issue.

The issue is that some of our local firefighters went over to give you blokes a hand, because you're having it really tough right now, and some people who were breaking the rules in many ways shot at them.

I'm glad no-one was killed.
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Old 10th September 2018, 09:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The fact that there's no valid reason to hunt and kill bears is another nother issue. But it's all the same issue.

The issue is that some of our local firefighters went over to give you blokes a hand, because you're having it really tough right now, and some people who were breaking the rules in many ways shot at them.

I'm glad no-one was killed.
I hope you don't think I was saying hunting accidents were OK.

There are valid reasons to hunt, this does not appear to be one of them.

And obviously they shouldn't have been hunting there at that time.
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Old 10th September 2018, 09:32 PM   #19
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Right, no I don't think you were saying that. But it's all the same issue.

Fairfax is still reporting that the hunters have been charged.
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Old 10th September 2018, 09:44 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The fact that there's no valid reason to hunt and kill bears is another nother issue. But it's all the same issue.

The issue is that some of our local firefighters went over to give you blokes a hand, because you're having it really tough right now, and some people who were breaking the rules in many ways shot at them.

I'm glad no-one was killed.
The truly sad part is that these guys ran away like a couple of sheilas[?], surely Crocodile Dundee is turning in his grave.
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Old 10th September 2018, 10:22 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
The truly sad part is that these guys ran away like a couple of sheilas[?], surely Crocodile Dundee is turning in his grave.
Rather than stand around and get shot? I would too.
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Old 11th September 2018, 12:22 AM   #22
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How close where the firefighters to Bigfoot breeding grounds?
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Old 11th September 2018, 01:36 AM   #23
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Quote:
They had been surveying fire-damaged forest around White Pass in the US state of Washington.
The review states: "At approximately 1500, four incident personnel spot two individuals walking down the Pacific Coast Trail approximately 200 yards below them."
Dressed in yellow fire shirts and wearing bright yellow hard hats, the group waved at the pair to attract attention before the first shot was fired.
The US Forest Service document states: "The incident personnel watched with binoculars as one of the two individuals put a scoped rifle on a bi-pod and looked up the mountain toward them."
A quote in the report from an unnamed lookout says: "They have a scoped rifled and are pointing it at us."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-1...ngton/10232900
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Old 11th September 2018, 07:45 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Right, no I don't think you were saying that. But it's all the same issue.

Fairfax is still reporting that the hunters have been charged.
It looks like they were charged for entering a closed area. Those charges came from the Forest Service (a federal agency).

They don't appear to have yet been charged with any hunting or firearms-related. Hunting is regulated by the State governments, so the Forest Service has no option there. Shooting in the direction of people without a proper backstop might still be prosecutable by the feds.

The catch being, any charges relating to hunting or firearms might result in the loss of hunting privileges or the confiscation of the firearms, even the loss of the right to own firearms.

In our totally perfect culture, they are less likely to be charged for shooting at someone than they would be if they had thrown rocks at them. This assumes connected white people in a rural environment, of course. Can't do anything that might put those guns and hunting rights at risk.
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Old 11th September 2018, 07:54 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
The catch being, any charges relating to hunting or firearms might result in the loss of hunting privileges or the confiscation of the firearms, even the loss of the right to own firearms.
"The law was very firm, it
Took away my permit
The harshest penalty I've ever endured.
There was a simple reason,
Cows were out of season,
And one of the hunters wasn't insured."

- Tom Lehrer, The Hunting Song.
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Old 11th September 2018, 04:12 PM   #26
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A couple of things about this bothered me. There is absolutely no way that the hunters could have mistaken a group of four firefighters for bears. Firefighters by default wear high-visibility gear. Bears aren't bright yellow. Second, the hunters pursued the firefighters along a ridge. Why?
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Old 11th September 2018, 04:25 PM   #27
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Finally a couple of local sources. Much ado about very little, it would appear.
https://www.nwpb.org/2018/09/11/no-h...ar-white-pass/
https://q13fox.com/2018/09/10/men-ci...pass-ski-area/
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Old 11th September 2018, 04:45 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Finally a couple of local sources. Much ado about very little, it would appear.
https://www.nwpb.org/2018/09/11/no-h...ar-white-pass/
https://q13fox.com/2018/09/10/men-ci...pass-ski-area/
Yeah, sure. Hunting ground squirrel and marmots with the same equipment used for hunting bears. Correct me if I'm wrong, but either the small mammals would be vaporised if hit by bear-sized rounds (no breakfast for you!), or the small game bullets would bounce off the bear's fur (and you become breakfast). And none of those animals would be hanging around in a fire zone.
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Old 11th September 2018, 05:13 PM   #29
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If the gunshots scare the piss out of the Aussie guys it might help to put out the fire. Urine could douse a fire. A lot of people wouldn't think about that possibility.
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Old 11th September 2018, 05:19 PM   #30
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Marmots are ground squirrels.

This information has been brought to you by the Zoology Trivia Department of ISF.
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Old 11th September 2018, 06:11 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Couldn't they have been using the scope simply to see the firefighters?
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Old 11th September 2018, 06:12 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
A couple of things about this bothered me. There is absolutely no way that the hunters could have mistaken a group of four firefighters for bears. Firefighters by default wear high-visibility gear. Bears aren't bright yellow. Second, the hunters pursued the firefighters along a ridge. Why?
It doesn't sound that those are the facts.
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Old 11th September 2018, 06:16 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
If the gunshots scare the piss out of the Aussie guys it might help to put out the fire. Urine could douse a fire. A lot of people wouldn't think about that possibility.
If I heard gunshots near me, you ******* bet I'd get the hell out of there. Bullets, even if not deliberately discharged directly at me, can cause sudden and irreversable death if I happen to be in the way of them. I'm not interested in risking that, thank you. If I hear gunshots, I am going to run - not walk, run - from the scene.
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Old 11th September 2018, 06:16 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Marmots are ground squirrels.

This information has been brought to you by the Zoology Trivia Department of ISF.
Marmots enjoy chewing on cables and wires, and frequently climb up inside parked cars and disable them.

This information has been brought to you by the Department of War on Marmots, motto Know Thine Enemy.
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Old 11th September 2018, 06:17 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Couldn't they have been using the scope simply to see the firefighters?
Is that what you'd assume if you saw someone pointing a scoped rifle at you?
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Old 11th September 2018, 06:18 PM   #36
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If the Aussie firefighters had been armed they could have shot back and killed the squirrel hunters.
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Old 11th September 2018, 06:19 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
It doesn't sound that those are the facts.
The pursuing of the firefighters along the ridge certainly appears to be unconfirmed, but they were definitely wearing high-visibility gear at the time.

Quote:
Dressed in yellow fire shirts and wearing bright yellow hard hats, the group waved at the pair to attract attention before the first shot was fired.
Source: a_unique_person's link
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Old 11th September 2018, 11:50 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Couldn't they have been using the scope simply to see the firefighters?
First rule of firearm safety. Never point a gun at something you don't want to hit.
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Old 12th September 2018, 01:21 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
If the gunshots scare the piss out of the Aussie guys it might help to put out the fire. Urine could douse a fire. A lot of people wouldn't think about that possibility.
If anybody's ever seen The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, it's probably the first thing they'd have thought of.

Dave
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Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
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Old 12th September 2018, 05:39 AM   #40
Foolmewunz
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Marmots enjoy chewing on cables and wires, and frequently climb up inside parked cars and disable them.

This information has been brought to you by the Department of War on Marmots, motto Know Thine Enemy.
I believe they're related to the car-eating woodchuck of Wisconsin.
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Ha! Foolmewunz has just been added to the list of people who aren't complete idiots. Hokulele

It's not that liberals have become less tolerant. It's that conservatives have become more intolerable.
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