US Marshals say two Australian firefighters were not attacked by hunters, pursued and shot during an incident in a bush in Washington state.
"It's a misunderstanding," Yakima County Sheriff's Office spokesman Casey Schilperoort told AAP on Tuesday.
A media report described how Australian firefighters patrolling US Forest Service personnel. UU Last month in a remote area 160 kilometers from Seattle they were chased through a ridge by hunters in a restricted area.
The sheriffs and the Washington state patrol were alerted, but an investigation found that the firemen were not in danger, the hunters were not pursuing them and "there was no contact between them".
"If they (the firemen) felt they were in danger, then that's how they felt, but the evidence does not show that they were in danger in any way other than they being completely surprised by the people and the gunfire," Schilperoort said.
Schilperoort said the incident occurred at the beginning of the hunting season in a bowl-shaped landscape surrounded by mountains.
The shots of the hunters would have echoed throughout the bowl, he said.
"I fully understand how the firefighters were surprised to see people and shoot five or six shots in an area where they are," Schilperoort said.
"The bowl makes the shot of the rifle sound around him."
The area was closed to hunters at that time and the United States Forest Service issued citations to hunters for violating a closure order.
Australia and the USA UU They have a highly successful exchange program in which firefighters from each nation fly to add labor and experience to firefighting efforts.