Hanging Out with History in the Ready Room

Jumpsuits hanging

Historical photo of smokejumper jumpsuits at the Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum.

As we restore the Gobi, one hope is to provide recognition to those who made the Gobi so meaningful. One show of recognition will be in the Loft to display the names of Gobi Jumpers above the Suit-Up rack in the Ready Room.

Any Jumper who was part of the CJ crew during their career is invited to participate in this fund raising campaign that will permanently inscribe your name at the base. For a donation of $100.00, your name plate will be placed above the Suit-Up rack in the Ready Room. You, a family member, or friend may also make a donation for a deceased CJ jumper in their recognition.

2013 Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum Work Week

Tom Hunnicutt installs the last shingle during a recent work week, September 7, 2012

Tom Hunnicutt installs the last shingle during a recent work week, September 7, 2012

The Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum will have its fifth annual work week from Monday, June 17 to Saturday, June 22, to continue work on restoration of the buildings at the historic base. This is the oldest-standing aerial firefighter base in North America and includes the oldest smokejumper parachute loft. Work hours generally begin around 9:00AM and end around 4:00PM. Volunteers are invited to work one hour or all day. It is a great opportunity to meet smokejumpers who worked at the base and enjoy the atmosphere of this historic site.

An Historic Smokejumper Base Comes Back to Life

Experience an exciting era when Jumpers parachuted into remote areas of our National Forests to extinguish lightning caused fires.

The Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum tells the story of early US Forest Service aerial wildfire suppression. Its story takes place in the remote and rugged forests of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Smokejumpers are highly trained firefighters who parachute from airplanes into remote forest fires to extinguish them while they are still small and controllable. Under favorable wind, temperature and fuel conditions, small fires, can grow to become major conflagrations, which destroy valuable forest resources, require large fire crews and are expensive to suppress. It is the job of smokejumpers to prevent this from happening.

One of the first smokejumper bases was opened by the USFS in 1943 and was located at Cave Junction, Oregon. This base was established as a response to various attempts by the Japanese during WW II to ignite massive forest fires throughout western forests: a strategy intended to disrupt America’s war effort by causing panic in the general population. (More information can be found at these sites. http://tinyurl.com/bmuhh7j http://tinyurl.com/9wmuvjs)

Siskiyou Smokejumper Base continued operation after the war and evolved over the years as one of four primary smokejumper bases located in Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.  http://tinyurl.com/cbevoxv While in operation its crews were dispatched to thousands of lightning and human-caused fires throughout the western states, saving millions in resource damage and fire suppression costs. In 1981, after 38 years of firefighting distinction by 39 total crews, the U.S. Forest Service, in an effort to centralize resources, closed its base in Cave Junction.

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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