Drier winters, warmer springs and hotter summers make wildfires even wilder. These elite firefighters extinguish small fires before they grow into monsters

The alarm sounded and in a blink the base thrummed with activity. Smokejumpers grabbed helmets, donned kevlar suits, tested radios and strapped on parachutes. A speaker blasted Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries.

“Final checks, OK, let’s go,” boomed a command. Within minutes eight smokejumpers were airborne in a Twin Otter, climbing into a blue Idaho sky. The plane soon returned, empty, to pick up another eight jumpers.

Continue reading…
Source: Guardian Environment