Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum

Siskiyou Smokejumper Museum


2013 Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum Work Week

Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum Work Week

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.

The Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum is located on Smokejumper Way at the Illinois Valley Airport about four and a half miles south of Cave Junction.

Most of the project week will focus on shingling the exterior of the historic smokejumper barracks, painting the interior and exterior of other historic buildings, and work to improve the landscaping and grounds of the base.

A new roof will also be installed on the historic administration building and this project has an interesting twist. The current roof was installed about 30 years ago and this was the first roof that Tom Hunnicutt, one of the crew members, worked on. Tom went on to start his own roofing business and installed roofs for the next three decades. He will be returning this project week to install what he claims will be his last roof on the building where he installed his first roof.

The museum also recently obtained a Twin Beech aircraft similar to the one that was used for smokejumping in the 1950s. The plane will be retrofitted to have the same gear and equipment as the planes used for smokejumping operations during that era. The plane will be on display and one of the features that visitors will be able to see when they tour the museum. Work on this project will begin later this summer by museum volunteers. Anyone interested in helping with this project can contact the project coordinator at the number given below.

Volunteers working on the project can camp on the shaded lawn of the base. Showers and restrooms are available in the historic smokejumper bath house. There are also accommodations at local motels.

For more information about the project week, contact Gary Buck at 541 592-2055.