Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Smokejumping: Reflections

When I first got seriously interested in wildland firefighting I got in touch with a former professor with whom I studied a little about forestry (among other things) while I was in graduate school. I told Marc about my interest in wildland firefighting. He suggested that I read Young Men and Fire by Norman McLean about Mann Gulch (see an article I wrote on November 26, 2008). A short time later, I read Jumping Fire, by Murray A.Taylor about his life as a smokejumper. So you could say that one of my introductions to wildland firefighting was through smokejumping.

One of these days on one of my treks out west, I’ll have an opportunity to visit a Smokejumper Base or two. I’d love to see up close and personal some of what I’ve seen in videos about what happens at a Smokejumper Base. Perhaps I’d be able to visit one of the smokejumping aircraft up close and personal.

Over the last several days, I have grown to appreciate the complexity of all that is involved in smokejumping. I don’t know if what I have posted previously or plan to post in the capture will adequately capture all that is involved in smokejumping from training to practice jumps to getting the call to a fire to jumping to the fire to working the fire.

As I continue to write this blog on the different aspects of aerial wildland firefighting, I hope that some of my respect for all wildland firefighters whether the be on the ground or in the air as well as their support staff comes through in what I share.

Before I leave, I do hope to continue the series on smokejumping 101 (see articles from March 3rd, March 4th, and March 9th). I have some queries out to get some more information on smokejumping to share with you. But this process may take a several days. So stay tuned, I'll be back with more articles in my series on smokejumping as soon as I can.

Added on May 29, 2015: I spent some time thinking about how I will approach any future articles on smokejumping. I'm not sure at this point when I'll be making more posts on smokejumping. Over the course of the current wildfire season (2015) I will be looking to try learn more about smokejumping. Because I do not live in close proximity to any Smokejumping bases, this will be difficult. However, I am hoping that I might be able to learn something about smokejumping that I can share with you.

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