So my husband jumps from an airplane into wildfires for a living…

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Well, he’s professionally known as a smokejumper… yes, this is an actual profession :).  PB and the majority of my best friends, and pretty much my entire family (besides my one brother who’s technically still involved in fire for a living…he’s a blacksmith) are wildland firefighter’s employed through the United States Forest Service -USFS.  But, getting back to the exciting part, yes he parachutes from an airplane into active wildfires to fight and suppress them in order to protect natural resources and homes in the wildland urban interface.  The truth is though; it’s not so much the job that’s exciting and intriguing as the people behind the hockey masks, oompa-loompa suits, and greens and yellows.  The men and women of the smokejumping and fire world are not your run of the mill Joe’s and Susie’s.  They are quirky, weird (and I mean this as a compliment!) and incredibly loving people who come from all walks of life.

My husband has been involved in the fire world for the last 10 years, and I by proxy and by past employment, have also been a part of this zany community for the past 7 years.  I’ll tell you, no one is quite like these singular and wildly unique individuals.  I love them all…I love you all…even if I’ve never met you, because that’s just how the fire community works.  It is an incredibly tight-knit group of people who have each other’s backs, no matter what.

I recently returned from a trip down through the southwest with my girlfriend, and fellow fire wife, where PB- my husband, is stationed at a Forest Service spike base for the heat of New Mexico’s fire season.  He’s down there with around 30 other smokejumpers from 5 other bases.  I was afforded the wonderful opportunity to spend some time with these characters, and also to watch them do a proficiency jump.  I tell you, it never ever gets old watching your husband parachute from an airplane…ever!  It’s the sort of giddy and slightly terrifying feeling that you might get as you step onto stage to give a big speech…or the knotty but super-charged feeling you get as you are waiting to run your first marathon…  You know, it’s just terribly awfully exciting all wrapped up into one!

Don’t get me wrong though, there’s a lot of crazy wrapped up into all this goodness, but maybe that’s another topic for a different post.  Do I miss my husband while he’s gone for months at a time either actively fighting fires or anxiously waiting to fight them…ABSOLUTELY.  Do I sometimes resent the fact that he spends more time with his fire community than he does with his own wife and two crazy dogs…YES…but I would never ever in a million zillion years trade my life with anyone else.  Quite honestly, I thrive off of a little crazy, so the excitement and thrill of this lifestyle is directly in tune with the beat of my own drum.

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Here’s a visual story of these absolutely wonderful people.  It was a true pleasure getting to meet all of these men and women, and I hope to run into them, their wives and husbands, and their children again very soon.

Enjoy!

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Post Scriptus

If anyone from my NCSB fire family is reading this, I miss you guys something terrible!!!!
Be safe friends.
XX


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4 thoughts on “So my husband jumps from an airplane into wildfires for a living…

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