01 September 2010

Ninemile Remount Station/Smokejumper Center - Montana

As we were driving along towards Missoula, Montana we saw a sign for a Historical Ranger Station in the Lolo National Forest so we decided to check it out since it was only 4 miles off the highway and the kids needed a break from riding.

While at the ranger station we saw an ad for the Montana Smoke Jumpers Museum that was 20 miles up the highway. The boys really wanted to stop and see this and, since it was on our way , we stopped. We took the 2pm tour and it lasted about an hour. We saw the “ready room” where the firefighters store their gear so it’s ready at a moments notice. We also saw where they hang the parachutes after a jump to be inspected and repaired if necessary and also the room where they repack the parachutes after use. Outside we saw the plane they use for dropping water and fire retardants on the forest fires and the plane they use to fly the firefighters and their equipment to the site of the fire. All the backpacks and gear made from fabric other than the parachutes are made by the firefighters during their shifts when they aren’t fighting a fire so they all have to learn to sew.

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