Unplugged & Totally Uncut

Jason Ramos Smoke Jumper

August 8, 201512 min
Considered the Special Operations units of the firefighting world, smokejumpers are on the front lines of “the worst drought on record”*. This perfectly timed first‐hand account offers a dramatic lens through which to cover the crisis facing the American West. Forest and wildland fires are growing larger, more numerous, and deadlier every year — as record drought conditions, decades of misguided forestry science, and the increasing encroachment of development into the wilderness have combined to create a powder keg that threatens millions of acres and thousands of lives annually. Yet little is known about the select group of men and women who serve as the nation’s front‐line defense against fire, perhaps the most vivid and dangerous consequence of our changing climate: smokejumpers. Considered the nation’s tier‐one wildland firefighting resource, smokejumpers are highly skilled and rigorously trained airborne firefighters who parachute into the most remote wild areas of the United Stat

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