Forest and wildland fires are growing larger, more numerous, and deadlier every year — record drought conditions, decades of forestry mismanagement, and the increasing encroachment of residential housing into the wilderness have combined to create a powder keg that threatens millions of acres and thousands of lives every year. One select group of men and women are part of America's front-line defense: smokejumpers. The smokejumper program operates through both the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Though they are tremendously skilled and only highly experienced and able wildland firefighters are accepted into the training program, being a smokejumper remains an art that can only be learned on the job. Forest fires often behave in unpredictable ways: spreading almost instantaneously, shooting downhill behind a stiff tailwind, or even flowing like a liquid. In this extraordinarily rare memoir by an active-duty jumper, Jason Ramos takes readers into his exhilarating and dangerous world, explores smokejumping’s remarkable history, and explains why their services are more essential than ever before.
A Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Bestseller
In a firestorm, nothing is safe: sand turns to glass, metal runs like water, wood and human beings vanish into ash.Enter a world of breathtaking danger and beauty: In this remarkable memoir, veteran smokejumper Jason Ramos offers a rare inside look at the lives of airborne firefighters, the select few who parachute into the most rugged and remote wild areas to battle nature’s blazes. Featuring a foreword by author John Maclean (Fire on the Mountain), Ramos’s unforgettable firsthand account takes readers into his exhilarating and daring world.