SMOKEJUMPERS: PAGE 191
2005 WILD LAKE FIRE - AIR SUPPORT
Until supplies arrived, jumpers relied upon two CL-215 air tankers, directing them to targets through dense smoke, drenching several cabins with tons of water. Working in tandem, turnaround times from lake to drop sites were two minutes. The exceptional CL-215 pilots again proved their mettle in Alaska this season. But the main fire continued making runs at area cabins in its path. To our delight, our Casa Jumpship arrived late in the afternoon, filled with our paracargo order of pumps, hose, drip torches, fuel, food and water. But cabins in the area, the lake, and dense forests ruled out possible paracargo drop zones. The large A-22 pallets could only be dropped in front of the approaching flamefront. Skilled spotters and pilots made it work. As each 500-pound crate landed with a thud, we scrambled to move all contents to safety. We stretched a hoselay toward outlying cabins and the main fire, leaving two Mark 3 pumps humming loudly on the lakeshore.
Life From Above: Palletized A-22 of Supplies
Jumpers Shuttle Cargo From Fire's Path
28-Foot-Chute Holds Taught in the Wind
Matt Desimone Shoulders Pallet
Charred Pallet
Abandoned Empty Shed Lost to Fire
A-22 Paracargo Close Up
Kendrick Burns From Hoselay
Fire & Cabin
CL-215 Drops Overhead

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