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Cool Jobs @ Smokejumper

Smokejumpers are most often deployed to fires that are extremely remote.

The extra risk associated with this method is justified by reaching a wildfire shortly after ignition when it is still relatively small. Another argument for delivering wildland firefighters by parachute is that the fixed-wing aircraft that carry smokejumpers are cheaper to operate over long distances, carry more personnel and equipment and have higher top speeds than the helicopters often used for other fire deployments.

While remoteness is one reason parachute deployment is used, it adds to the risk inherent in smokejumping as crews are often hours away from help if the wind shifts or someone gets injured. The ordinary risk of a parachute jump, the adverse conditions for the jump, and the lack of resources for firefighting and rescue once on the ground in a remote area give smokejumping a reputation as exceedingly dangerous work.

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