If you haven't seen the Smokejumpers: Firefighters from the Sky exhibition, today is your last chance!
Explore the evolution and role of smokejumping over the last 70 years and the development of technology that has made aerial firefighting what it is today.
Humans have a natural instinct to flee from fire. But a specially-trained group of men and women combine skydiving with firefighting, parachuting into remote wilderness areas in a dangerous race to stop sometimes massive fires with little more than what they can carry. For more than 75 years, smokejumpers have played an important role in managing wildland fires across the United States and Canada. All of the tools, food and water they’ll need are parachuted into the fire zone right along with the smokejumpers.
As soon as their boots hit the ground, they evaluate the fire, create a plan of attack, clear fuel, dig fire lines and set back burns, as needed. They may spend a couple of days fighting a fire before hiking out of the fire zone carrying all of their gear and supplies.
The exhibit highlights changes in smokejumping practices and technology. It also tells the broader story of wildland firefighting in the Pacific Northwest and examines some of the major fires in the region over the last 100 years.
Smokejumpers: Firefighters from the Sky was developed by the Springfield Museum in cooperation with the National Smokejumper Association.