Wildfire season is getting longer, according to the US Forest Service, making firefighting a bigger, more vital operation each year. In this episode, Emily, Matt, and Nick take a look at how the pros fight wildfires with everything from large water-carrying airtankers and helicopters to daring smokejumpers who parachute into the blaze equipped with axes, shovels, and chainsaws. We’ll introduce you to a few of the people who put their lives on the line to keep us and our forests safe and discuss how changes in technology, climate, and communication are impacting aerial firefighting.
We’ll hear from Chelsea Cough, a smokejumper based in Missoula, Montana, about what it’s like to parachute into forest fires too remote to reach over land. And Matt travels out to Utah to the site of an active wildfire where over 1000 people were involved in coordinated air and ground efforts to contain and suppress the flames.