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Smokejumper Exhibit Opens at High Desert Museum

by Posted by Sherron Lumley |


Exhibit highlights the history of smokejumpers and wildfires in the Northwest

BEND, OR—For more than 75 years, specially-trained women and men have been jumping out of airplanes and parachuting into remote wildfires. Smokejumpers: Firefighters from the Sky is a new exhibit at the High Desert Museum which explores this history and the evolution of aerial firefighting techniques and technology. Smokejumpers opens June 4.“Thirty years after the Wright Brothers, parachutes and planes transformed firefighting in the Pacific Northwest,” said Curator of Western History Laura Ferguson. “This exhibit explores the dangers and rewards of firefighting, and seemed like a natural fit for the Museum considering the proximity of theRedmond Smokejumpers Base and prevalence of wildfires in the High Desert.”

The exhibit introduces the history of wildland firefighting in the Pacific Northwest through photographs and artifacts such as firefighting
tools, fire shelters, drip torches and a smokejumper mannequin provided by the
National Smokejumper Association. The exhibit also highlights some of the major
fire events throughout the last 100 years, as well as the unique dangers these
brave men and women face on a daily basis.

Smokejumpers: Firefighters from the Sky was developed by the Springfield Museum in cooperation with the National Smokejumper Association. This exhibit was made
possible by the Pacific Northwest Forest Service Association and 1859 Oregon’s

About the High Desert Museum: Through exhibits, wildlife and
living history, the High Desert Museum creates learning experiences to help
audiences discover their connection to the past, their role in the present and
their responsibility to the future. The Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit
organization that was founded in 1982.