Print

Education >> Browse Articles >> Education Article

+55

Insider's Look at Smokejumping

Insider's Look at Smokejumping

Stock Photo

Bruce L. Nelson w/introduction by FireLink.com

Smokejumpers are highly trained wildfire firefighters deployed to remote locations. They are parachuted in to to secure fires otherwise unreachable by local forces. By making use of high-altitude aircraft, smokejumpers are able to reach fires faster, cheaper, and better equipped than any road-bound vehicle.

Because smokejumping forces are limited to small teams, most of us don’t get a chance to see what these special forces battle. “Buck” Nelson, a 20-year smokejumping veteran, gives us an insider look into the smokejumping world…

Practice Jump

There are two systems used, the round parachute by the Forest Service, and the square or “ram-air” parachute used by the BLM.

This photo shows a practice jump with a ram-air parachute in the desert near Grand Junction, Colorado. (Photo by Dr. Steve Baker) Jumps are normally from 1,500 to 3,000 feet above ground level, in the safest spot that is nearby (not in) the fire.

On most fires, two to eight smokejumpers are dropped, but additional smokejumpers or further reinforcements will be called in if necessary.

Continue Article


Recent Activity

Debs_pics_from_galaxy_cell_phone_1853_max30
Dmmyr received the quiz result of "51-75% correct", 3 days ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
itz_goofy received the quiz result of "Stay away from the fire house until you study up!", 4 days ago.
Images_max30
Ravenfirefighter commented on: "Eddie Howard", 4 days ago.
Snapshot_20140825_1_max30
dawn4045 received the quiz result of "51-75% correct", 5 days ago.
Snapshot_20140825_1_max30
dawn4045 received the quiz result of "Smokejumper", 5 days ago.