An Historic Smokejumper Base Comes Back to Life

Today, over 450 US Forest Service and BLM and smokejumpers, stationed at nine bases across the West and Alaska, still fulfill their original mission of keeping small fires small. Smokejumping remains a cost-effective firefighting strategy and continues to be an integral part of the team of pilots, air tankers, helicopters and ground crews which make up the modern wildfire fighting mix. (Smokejumper photos: http://spotfireimages.net/smjhome.html)

The restored smokejumper buildings which make up the museum are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and leased from Josephine County. The buildings are being renovated by a close knit group of over 200 ex-Cave Junction Smokejumpers and local volunteers. These jumpers still share a strong sense of comradery, and many meet each year for a week in June to visit, tell stories and continue restoration efforts.

Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and listed as a National Historic site. It features the oldest standing smokejumper parachute loft in North America.  It is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors whose mission is to preserve and tell the legendary story of a extraordinary place and the crews who worked there.

On display are authentic smokejumper equipment including parachutes, jump suits and firefighting tools. A remarkable archival photo collection can be viewed, which brings to life the spirit and adventure of this exciting period in firefighting history. Soon, a mockup of an actual smokejumper airplane will be added to the exhibits.

Consider adding Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum to your travel plans. We hope to see you soon and we know you find your visit interesting and enjoyable.


Mick Swift climbs a giant ponderosa pine tree to retrieve his parachute

Mick Swift climbs a giant ponderosa pine tree to retrieve his parachute


grants pass courier article june 19 2010


Smokejumper uses propeller to crank-start Fairchild jump plane before jump

Smokejumper uses propeller to crank-start Fairchild jump plane before jump