Fully outfitted smokejumpers boarding a C23 Sherpa aircraft in Missoula, Montana, en route to a fire in the Idaho Panhandle, July 1994

A smokejumper is a wildland firefighter who parachutes into a remote area to combat wildfires.

Smokejumpers are most often deployed to fires that are extremely remote. The risks associated with this method of personnel deployment are mitigated by a training program that has been developed over more than 70 years. Smokejumpers are capable of reaching a wildfire shortly after ignition, when it is still relatively small, and extinguishing the blaze before it becomes a problem to land managers and the public. When there is no significant fire activity, smokejumpers will take on other assignments such as forestry, disaster relief and emergency management.

Smokejumpers worldwide

Smokejumpers are employed in large numbers by the Russian Federation and the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Russia maintains more smokejumpers than any other nation in the world (several thousand) and claims the longest history of established smokejumping of any nation (reportedly established in 1936; smokejumping in the United States was established in 1939).

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