I took a side trip to the US Forest Service smokejumper base in Missoula. They have some exhibits that include a mock up of a lookout. Early communication involved riding to make a report on horseback or on foot, using morse code with signal mirrors, and releasing homing pigeons. For 40 years, they relied on single strand #9 galvanized wire strung through the trees for phone service. Radios made it much easier to coordinate. Early version of those headlamps we use. Smoke jumper in jump gear. Tools are dropped later. Wildland firefighter. Wildland firefighters carry these shelters in case they are threated with being burned over. They can shake them out and get inside them in about 20 seconds. The shelter is made of fiberglass and aluminum. It can't take direct flames too long but it is designed to reflect heat up to 1,600 degrees. They are designed so that theoretically flames ride over the tent on a cushion of air. Temps inside are 150-200 degrees and from accounts I've read it is not a pleasant place to be. Human skin starts to "burn" at 131 degrees. One battle is to breathe a very thin layer of cool enough air and oxygen from the surface of the ground. Some survivors have had plastic buckles on their gear inside their shelter melt during a burnover. If you dig around the USFS web sites, you can find a data base with accounts from people who survived being burned over in one of these shelters. In one book I read, some firefighters deployed their shelters in the face of a burnover while two civilians were trapped at the scene with no shelters. In the end the two civilians essentially forced their way into a young female firefighters shelter (amazing that they fit somehow) and all three survived in a single shelter. Sadly, in that group four firefighters in shelters did not survive. These shelters have saved at least 220 lives. I appreciate the work wildland firefighters do. It is difficult and dangerous. I have read several books about fire events and find that in many ways wildland firefighting is similar to military operations in many respects. It is interesting to me to read about operations and systems that worked or failed to varying degrees. Sadly, mistakes or failures are sometimes fatal. Edit: I mentioned a database of incidents. If you go here (http://iirdb.wildfirelessons.net/main/Reviews.aspx) you can view a variety of events. Go to the "accident type" pull down and you get an idea of of the many tough situations that develop for wildland firefighters. You can browse for burnovers, entrapments, aircraft related incidents, shelter deployments, and many more tough situations. Seems like there were 72 smokejumpers assigned here. Those that don't live here normally can stay in this dorm. Smokejumpers make much of their own gear. They get good sewing things I guess. Is this an appropriate time to mentioned that about 1/3 of smokejumpers are women? Personnel parachutes come from commerical sourcres. Smokejumpers do make cargo chutes though. At the beginning of the season jumpers use some system to develop a random order list for being called for fires. When a stick of jumpers is needed, the next group on the board go. Jumpers need to be suited up and on the plane within 10 minutes. After a jump, chutes need to be dried and inspected. They are suspended in this loft to dry.