8/16/2014

August 15, 2014 Missoula Smoke Jumpers Base (and other stuff)

This morning we had a few things on our to do list.  First the chip in our windshield was fixed (we had made the appointment last week).  Second, our package arrived at the post office so off we went to pick it up.

Back home we had an early lunch and headed to the Missoula Smokejumpers Base.  We enjoyed the small museum that included 5 short videos on the history of smokejumpers, different aspects of smoke jumping, and the Mann Gulch fire and loss of life.

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We signed up for the tour and at 1 PM it started in the museum.  Every piece of clothing and all equipment that the smoke jumpers use was explained.

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From there we headed to the base where almost all of the jumpers were on duty.

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This is the main sewing room where they make most of their working clothes.

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This is where the parachutes are hung, dried, tested, and checked out.

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The packing area:

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If not used, the parachutes are repacked every 180 days. 

The boxes are packed with all their equipment and dropped with the smoke jumpers:

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At this base there are two planes that are used.  They are packed and ready to go all the time.  This plane holds 10 smoke jumpers:

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This plane holds 16 smoke jumpers:

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The locker or ready room:

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When the alarms goes off, the jumpers get ready in here, check each other out, and are in the plane within 10 minutes:

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The jumpers work 14 days straight with one day off or 21 days straight with 2 days off.  They only work days since there are no jumps at night.

Most of the crews were here because of the threat of wild fires in the area – many storms are forecast and lightning is the big fear.

This was one of my bucket list items and it was wonderful tour.

Here are links for more information and more details on the smoke jumpers:

http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/people/smokejumpers/missoula/

http://wildland-fires.smugmug.com/McCall-Smokejumpers-2014/McCall-Smokejumpers-2014/n-VnkDb/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mann_Gulch_fire

http://smokejumpers.com/index.php

After the tour, we did more shopping – we are getting filled.   Late afternoon and evening we hung out listening and watching the storms.

Enjoy today.

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2 comments:

Judith Bell said...

Now that's a place I'd like to visit.

Diane said...

It is a neat place. What made it even more special is being able to talk to the smokejumpers. A must for you bucket list. Hope all is well with you and Emma.