Nightline features smokejumpers

Tuesday night ABC’s Nightline had a nine-minute story on smokejumpers that featured the crew at Redding, California.

Below is Nightline’s description of the video.

Mitch Hokanson, 39, peers out the window of the roaring aircraft. Down below, a thin smoke coil emerges from a patch of pine trees. It’s been a dramatic fire season in the West. Drought conditions mixed with a rash of lightning strikes have caused small fires to break out. Close to 8.9 million acres have been burned by wildfires so far in 2015 — well above last year’s 3 million acres during the same time period.

Inside the plane, nine men strapped with parachutes and gear are ready to leap out the open door. They are part of an elite, and rarely seen, group of wildfire fighters employed by the U.S. Forest Service. Their mission: to stop the flames before they spread.

While it might take days for other crews to reach remote fires, depending on the location, this team can be at the scene, battling a fire in 30 minutes. The pay is modest, conditions treacherous, and hours can be long. Meet the California Smokejumpers.

You can see the video in a larger format at ABC’s website.

Smokejumper operates chain saw
A smokejumper operates a chain saw at a wildland fire. Screen shot from the Nightline video.

3 thoughts on “Nightline features smokejumpers”

  1. Outstanding presentation by all the smoke jumpers and spouse. Thanks to ALL who shared.
    Bill thanks for posting.
    jp harris LA Co Fire Retired

  2. Firey Pilot, wow! That’s what you took away from this? I thought it was a fine presentation, but I see a lot of half-full glasses too.

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