Smokejumpers

Kip laughed when I asked him what his mother thought of his job as a smokejumper. “She thinks I am crazy… truly nuts and need my head examined.”  Kip and his co-workers have a dangerous job jumping out of an airplane to fight fires in remote areas where there are no roads.   There are only 450 smokejumpers in the USA who attend special schools like the one in Missoula, Montana which has been around for 75 years. The school trains smokejumpers how to jump out of airplanes and use parachutes, fight the fires by hand, and then carry out equipment that can weigh up to 120 – 140 pounds.  This has been a busy year, with 81 fires going on around the Western United States, and I told Kip I admired his dedication to keeping people and property safe.  “I love the outdoors” he simply said.  Purrs, Gulliver

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