On the Frontlines of Wildfires, Smoke Jumpers Battle Blazes

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A rookie Smoke Jumper parachutes into Lake Lindbergh as part of Smoke Jumper training June 15, 2007 in Condon, Montana.
From and

Parts of the west and northwest are navigating through the height of fire season with extra hot and dry conditions.

Wildfires have burned an estimated 500 acres of heavy brush and timber about 10 miles north of Leavenworth, Washington. At the center of the state, the Mills Canon blaze covers nearly 35 square miles with only 40 percent contained. And over in Oregon, hundreds of firefighters have arrived on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation to tackle a fire that is covering more than 10,000 acres.

The job of containing and putting out a fire is a massive undertaking. Fire fighters are the first line of defense, and park services are working with local officials, hotshots, and smoke jumpers.

Jeff Davis is a long time smoke jumper now living in Silver City, New Mexico. Fire fighting has changed a lot since he got his start in 1957. Jeff was a smoke jumper for 22 years, from 1957 to 1976, for the forest service based mostly in Missoula, Montana. Today he weighs in on the unpredictable nature of firestorms, and how smoke jumping has evolved over time.