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Smokejumper: A Memoir by One of America's Most Select Airborne Firefighters

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Jason A. Ramos, Julian Smith

Narrated By: Ned Vaughn

Publisher: HarperAudio

Date: July 2015

Duration: 5 hours 27 minutes


'A fascinating look' (Esquire) at the thrilling world of smokejumpers, the airborne firefighters who parachute into the most remote and rugged areas of the United States, confronting the growing threat of nature’s blazes.
Forest and wildland fires are growing larger, more numerous, and deadlier every year — record drought conditions, decades of forestry mismanagement, and the increasing encroachment of residential housing into the wilderness have combined to create a powder keg that threatens millions of acres and thousands of lives every year. One select group of men and women are part of America's front-line defense: smokejumpers. The smokejumper program operates through both the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Though they are tremendously skilled and only highly experienced and able wildland firefighters are accepted into the training program, being a smokejumper remains an art that can only be learned on the job. Forest fires often behave in unpredictable ways: spreading almost instantaneously, shooting downhill behind a stiff tailwind, or even flowing like a liquid. In this extraordinarily rare memoir by an active-duty jumper, Jason Ramos takes readers into his exhilarating and dangerous world, explores smokejumping’s remarkable history, and explains why their services are more essential than ever before.


  • Nichole W

    The book was great! Loved how it blended story with information. The narrator was not as convincing as the author since some "Cali" words didn't roll off his tongue like he had spent any time on the coastal state. Like totally my own bias, though.

  • Catalina G

    Loved Smokejumper. It's a very interesting deep insight into the world of smokejumpers and fire fighters. Not trying to pose as a hero, the author gives a very honest and candid view of the truth about how they work, the highs and lows that come with fighting bushfires. I recommend it!

  • Krityne Martin

    I wondered whether this book would be a sensationalized look at an exotic profession... I was pleasantly surprised to find it very down-to-earth and free from heroic stereotypes. Yes, these people are willing to take considerable risks in their work, but their training and resources are impressive. Ramos has keen insights into the role that fire suppression has played in creating our current wildfire situation and how we should deal with the expansion of housing into fire-prone areas. The book is engagingly written, informative, and covers a profession that isn't widely understood. The narrator captures some of Ramos' down-to-earth tone but has an irritating manner of conveying all dialog with rasping affectation. There's a good deal of humor and frankness in the book, but there is human tragedy as well, and it was difficult to judge whether the narrator or the author gave it a somewhat dismissive treatment. The book is definitely worth a listen; for an interesting contrast, try On the Burning Edge.

Smokejumper: A Memoir by One of America's Most Select Airborne Firefighters

by Jason A. Ramos, Julian Smith

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Smokejumper: A Memoir by One of America's Most Select Airborne Firefighters, Jason A. Ramos, Julian Smith