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Jumping into danger, side by side

by webmaster |

For N.H. siblings, fighting wildfires a family tradition

Growing up in the mountains of Conway, N.H., Mara and Tory Kendrick were competitive cross-country skiers who could not get enough of the cold stuff. Now they cannot keep away from the heat.

The two siblings are smokejumpers, elite firefighters who parachute into remote, rugged woods to try to contain wildfires. Tory Kendrick, 28, and his sister, Mara Veale, 25, work for the US Forest Service at the Missoula Smokejumper Base.

Veale followed her brother to Missoula, but it was their grandfather, Verland Ohlson of Conway, who first ignited their interest in a job that requires strength, stamina, and courage.