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by Sarah Simonovich December 20, 2018

This holiday season, we are giving our thanks to the men and women who are working hard this season (and all year long) to protect those of us who aren’t.

Smokejumpers and wildland firefighters especially put their lives on the line every time they are out in the field, and this week we’d like to pay special homage to them.

A Special Thanks to Smokejumpers and Wildland Firefighters

Fighting fires is one of the most high-intensity jobs out there. For many, it is often unpredictable, as well; there is no telling when a fire will start, and wildfires do not stop for the holidays. In fact, in areas like California where the dry brush is especially a problem, fire season is becoming a year-round season.

Individuals across the nation and around the globe witnessed the devastating impact of the recent Camp Fire on the West Coast. With more than 150,000 acres burned, it was the deadliest and most damaging wildfire in California history. Thankfully, the fire was 100% contained as of November 25.

When fires burn through especially rocky places and hard-to-reach hillsides, such as with California’s rough terrain, the Forest Service relies on help from aerial assets, including planes with fire retardant and smokejumpers.


There are fewer than 500 smokejumpers across the nation. Historically, there have been fewer than 6,000 smokejumpers total. The U.S. Forest Service has about 320 smokejumpers working from several bases in Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Oregon. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) also has smokejumpers at bases in Idaho and Alaska.

These elite individuals are transported to fires via aircraft and parachute down to the fire area. This type of access from the air allows these firefighters to fight some of the most secluded fires before heavy equipment could arrive.

Their work is imperative for early fire containment. But this work doesn’t come easy—smokejumpers typically work anywhere between 48 and 72 hours on a fire and are required to carry all personal equipment on their person, making their packs weigh more than one hundred pounds.

The main goal for smokejumpers is, as with all firefighters, safety; they aim to suppress the fire and mitigate all loss, including property damage and loss of life. Once they land, the smokejumper’s job is similar to that of wildland firefighters on the ground: they use hand tools and chainsaws to remove all “fuel” from the fire’s path, including vegetation and other combustible material.

A Wildland Firefighter’s Wishlist    

When it comes to tools of the trade, smokejumpers and wildland firefighters rely on their gear to keep themselves—and others—safe. While a lot of smokejumper gear is made from scratch to meet the grueling demands of the field, there are some quality options available that are suitable for a firefighter’s gear bag.

If you’re looking to say thank you to a wildland firefighter in your life, we can help you find the perfect gift at


When it comes to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), firefighters need to stay safe from head to toe. This means that a good pair of boots is a must. Wildland firefighter’s need special boots that can handle the extreme conditions as well as provide comfort for all-day wear across various terrains.

Wesco’s Firestormer flame-resistant boots provide the highest level of protection and comfort in the heat of fire—more than any other boot on the market. Fire-resisting Vibram® 100F lug soles help you gain steady footing on rugged terrain. No-burn upper stitching, heavy black Kevlar® upper and sole stitching, and black leather laces all make this boot comply with NFPA 1977-2016 standards on protective clothing and equipment for wildland firefighting.


Tweet: Celebrate your Wildfire Fighters & Smokejumpers with a gift from MTN Shop! Stay safe this Holiday Season with MTN Shop.


No matter the when or where the work takes place, headlamps are an important safety device to have. As communication tools, headlamps might be needed to help locate fellow smokejumpers on the job and in the event of emergencies. When so much is at stake, it’s imperative to have a headlamp with reliable durability and range.

The ACTIK headlamp offers 300 lumen brightness with featuring a mixed beam it. Red lighting preserves night vision and prevents blinding other members of the group. Its reflective headband helps you to be seen when a light is shone on it, and is equipped with an emergency whistle for rescue situations. It weighs only 92g, so won’t add any extra weight to your hero’s already heavy pack.


From our MTN family to yours we want to wish everyone in the wildland firefighting industry a very happy holiday season! We appreciate your hard work and dedication year-round.

Sarah Simonovich
Sarah Simonovich


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