For the first time in the history of the California Unit, no new men were hired; the base experienced an exceptionally high return rate, and transfers from the closed Region IV base at Boise completed the crew.  Fire season developed slowly; wet weather throughout the remainder of the Pacific Northwest effectively delayed fire season in Regions IV & VI. 

     The first fire jumps in Region V occurred during a "wet" storm on June 11 when the California Unit jumped three fires in the Shasta-Trinity front country.  A few days before, ten men with Don Sterrett in charge left for Alaska.  Because the Boise base had been closed, and McCall did not yet have trained jumpers available, Sterrett's crew comprised the lower forty-eight detail this year.  Though Alaska was dry early in the season, significant amounts of moisture ensued, and the crew made but twenty-one jumps.

     This season was especially noteworthy for the number of California Department of Forestry fire dispatches in Shasta and Tehama Counties.  The majority of these fires were ground action assignments and arson started, but the state did not provide the unit with twenty-four jumps on three fires.  If it had not been for the utilization provided by the CDF in RO II, the Redding Unit would not have experienced any significant action for most of the summer. "Smokejumper Field" saw heavy baseball action this year.

     Ken Perkins was designated the "good deal" jumper as he logged the most overtime and was in on both two-manners (a rarity for R-V); one with Klaseen and the other with Larry Hartgrave.  Redding traveled to Columbia Airport twice this season and totaled fourteen jumps on the Stanislaus National Forest.  Dan Emry bagged two, and Mike Poetzsch, Steve Abrams and Rich Gerbach jumped the Mokelumne Wilderness Area.

     The Redding jumpers dropped 14,000 lbs. of cargo on a fire in the Sequoia-Kings Canyon, marking the first time in three years that the unit's air cargo capabilities had been utilized.  Johnson, Sterrett, Early and Cravens worked the assignment.  Earlier in the year on a detail to Missoula, Johnson, Noble, Huntington and Zumalt dropped cargo for two days from DC-3's using multi-directional roller tracks on the Rattlesnake Fire on the Nez Perce.  While in Region I, the Redding Jumpers were used on a control burn on the Lolo National Forest, and part of the crew made a quick trip to the North Cascades Smokejumper Base at Winthrop to eat supper and retrieve the pilfered R-V Smokejumper Logo Plague which had been taken from Redding by Cave Junction jumpers and passed north through Region VI to Winthrop.

     The highlight of the year occurred on a crew action dispatch to South Zone in R-V.  After working mop-up shifts on the Cleveland National Forest's Horse Fire for three days, the crew was sent to Oak Grove to standby for a week as a helicopter crew at Chantry Flat on the Angeles National Forest. Moral was significantly boosted when the Dodgers beat the Giants in tweleve innings.

     Back in Redding, Boise transfer, Bill Newlun, broke the Smokejumper Fund's bank account by designing and supervising the construction of new sand base horseshoe pits and volleyball court behind the jumper barracks.  In mid-August, KPIX Channel 5 in San Francisco came to Redding and filmed a segment on the California Smokejumper Unit for the nationally syndicated "Evening Magazine" program.  The show featured Dick Tracy, Dave (Nanti) Nani, Bob Harris, Ron Omont, Ken Perkins and Rob Early expounding on the unit's capabilities and effectiveness in forest fire suppression.

     The last jumps of the season occurred on September 26 when Pat Bailey, Hartgrave and Abrams parachuted to the Weil Lake Fire on the Tahoe National Forest.  The jumper unit saw duty well into October manning arson fires on the Six Rivers National Forest.  Rob Early finally made smokejumper history by completing an entire fire season without suffering a serious injury or filing a CA-1 for the first time in six years.  Arlen P. Cravens and Ron Omont led the crew this year with twenty jumps.

1980 Statistics


Smokejumpers:  Forty                                   50 Jump Award:  Dan Emry
New Men:  None                                                                           Tom Murphy
Aircraft:  Twin Otters (2)                                                             Ron Omont

Alaska Detail:  Don Sterrett                           100 Jump Award: Dick Linebarger
John Bald

                          Dan Mitchell
                          Gary Sexton

                          Arlen P. Cravens

                          Ron Omont

                          Tom Murphy
Nick Holmes
Daryl Reynolds
Pat Bailey



            Tracy, Dick                                                                 Holmes, Nick
Johnson, Gary                                                             Hodgin, Kev
Nani, Dave                                                                  Johnson, Thor
Sterrett, Don                                                               King, Larry
Noble, Dave                                                                Klaseen, Sven
Early, Rob                                                                   Linebarger, Dick
Meyer, Steve                                                               Mitchell, Dan
Huntington, Tim                                                         Murphy, Tom
Abrams, Steve                                                             Newlun, Bill
Bailey, Pat                                                                   Omont, Ron
Bald, John                                                                   Perkins, Ken
Cravens, Arlen                                                            Poetzsch, Mike
Emry, Dan                                                                   Quigley, Tim
Gerber, Jim                                                                  Reynolds, Daryl
Gersbach, Rich                                                            Rife, Rick
Golik, Dennis                                                              Sand, Don
Haagenson, Rick                                                         Sexton, Gary
Harris, Bob                                                                  Steffens, Jeff
Hartgrave, Larry                                                         Tetter, Buzz
Zumalt, Jerry

            Fire Jumps – 189
Taining Jumps – 354



     Redding trained new men again this year with eight reporting on May 4th; several veterans hired on the same day.  An ABC television affiliate from Los Angeles arrived in Redding the same week and filmed a segment on the California Smokejumper Unit for their "Eye on L.A." evening news program.  Interviews focused on the "smokejumper personality" and the fellows attitude toward the demands of the job.

     On May 11th, a tragic aircraft accident occurred at the Northern California Service Center.  Just after take off for a routine flight to Chico to inspect an air tanker, a USFS Beechcraft Baron crashed into the NCSC paracargo loft killing all four onboard:  Larry Pettibone, pilot and NZAU manager; George Mendel, Shasta-Trinity Fire Management Officer; Roscoe Bertolucci, NZAU Air Safety Officer; and Joe Hohl, NZAU Avionics Technician.  The resulting fire destroyed the building and its contents including all smokejumper gear and equipment.

     To outfit the Region V jumpers and a minimal facility which was established and certified by the FAA in the NZAU aircraft hanger, equipment and supplies were procured from the Redmond, McCall and Missoula bases.  Sewing machines were salvaged from the burned out building and shipped to Sacramento to be rebuilt, rigging tables were constructed, storage bins were built, and the twin otters were placed on contract; new man and refresher training continued after two Poags decided to terminate.

     Rookie Camp was finally held the second week of June; a bear clawed its way into Gary “Gramp's” Johnson new tent cleaning out the supply of chocolate chip cookies and wheat bread.  More excitement was provided by Dave Nani when he flew his Cessna 120 over camp with Early onboard to drop a message streamer to the men.  Observers were quick and steadfast in verifying that the message dropper hung up on the tail assembly as Dave roared off into the rising sun.  Newly elected mayor, Fred Baker was heard to remark in awe, "Who was that guy and what is he doing up there, anyway?"

     The California Smokejumpers were "fire ready" by June 10th, and sent Steve Meyer in charge of ten men to Fairbanks for the annual Alaska detail.  Rick Haagenson paid the price of a major error approximately nine months earlier, and was forced to remain in Redding.  The BLM fire season started early and stayed busy through June - Poetzsch bagged eight fire jumps and Meyer logged seven as two additional forty man booster crews flew north with ten from Redding under Dick Tracy.  The R-V contingent helicoptered to a fire out of Galena while Tracy jumped his first fire in years to lay fireline explosives.  Totals for the Alaska detail included sixty-one fire jumps to thirty-one fires, and fifteen men ground pounded four other fires.  Good deals were numerous, but Tim Quigley jumped on the sand at Portage Bay, and spent most of his time "treed" on the roof of a nearby cabin as Grizzleys froliced on the beach below.

     A series of high pressures aloft over California produced extremely hot, dry weather, but also prevented the necessary moisture for thunderstorms to enter the state.  The C.D.F. provided some ground action in Redding area, but the good deals were project fires on the Plumas, Klamath and Eldorado that kept twenty men busy for two weeks.  Nick Holmes painted "Jumper 3" on the front of the bus, and Dave Noble and Gary Johnson climbed behind the wheel for marathon midnight rides across the north state.  The major topics of discussion on these trips was smokejumper utilization and whether the white bread in fire lunches packaged under various designer labels could best be used as shoe insoles or sun screens.

     The Redding unit jumped crew actions in June on the Shasta-Trinity, Six Rivers and Lassen, but managed only 2 three manners in July.  During the lull in fire activity, jumpers taught classes in their areas of specialization:  bicycle repair, selecting hand guns, Central America on $6.00/day, and money market funds.  Don Sterrett spent his time developing the ultimate in web gear assembly for CDF pounders and Jim Gerber kept the "Spud Holly Anti-Defamation League" alive with eternal vigilance.

     Jump activity was non-existent until August 14th when Noble and Myer took nine to Winthrop and Huntington led nine to McCall with scheming Bill Newlun in charge of Payette tours and recreation.  As the lightning moved east into Montana, Johnson moved into Missoula with seven other Redding jumpers on the 15th.  The McCall group each made a fire jump and then flew back to Redding to jump a BLM fire.  The Missoula boosters also jumped and then split up sending Cravens to Grangeville, John and Linebarger to Redmond and the rest to Winthrop.  N.C.S.B. stayed busy until the 23rd with Meyer, Haagenson, Ryan, Sand and Youmans logging six fire jumps each.  The crew was split again with half returning to Redding and the remainder flying back to MSO with Johnson.  The next morning another booster crew from Redding with Sterrett flew into Missoula, and everyone jumped the Flathead, Lolo and Clearwater.  Arlen Cravens led the Region I boosters with four fires jumps, and Nani logged the most hours in McCall demonstrating his now infamous PLF.  Huntington scored a good deal dropping cargo in Yellowstone National Park.  The R-V boosters filtered back to California in early September bringing webbing, hardware, material, gear and equipment samples from every smokejumper loft in the northwest with them.

     California was finally hit with lightning on September 12th, and Redding was busy for the next ten days using jumpers from Winthrop, Missoula and McCall.  On the 12th, Nani dropped an otter load on fires on the Tahoe after dropping several of these jumpers earlier in the day at the Willows Air Show - a fly in honoring 25 years of air tanker activity on the Mendocino National Forest.  Huntington took a load to Columbia the same day and dropped ten men on the Stanislaus.  On the 16th Noble dropped an otter load on the Klamath marking the first time since 1977 that Redding had jumped a fire on the Klamath.  On the morning of the 17th, seven men went with Meyer to Cave Junction.  The first four jumped an in-flight to Redmond request in the Three Sister's Wilderness Area while two flew onto Redmond and jumped the Deschutes; Dan Mitchell and Ralph Ryan became the first California jumpers to parachute to a fire in the Gearhart Wilderness Area.  Rather than make the most of what might have been a good deal, Ryan proceeded to "lose his way" while searching for his jump gear, and ensured his place in Region VI smokejumper history by suffering the indignity of having to be rescued by a rapeller crew.  Ryan maintains, "I is bad," but Mitchell admits, "That's right .. he is lost."

     Back in California, Pat Bailey jumped the Plumas and watched his fire run to over 40 acres while Larry Hartgrave and George Maasen put their two manner out only to be forced to run from the advancing Ingalls Fire as it burned out of the valley.  The next day Sterrett took a twenty man pounder crew by bus to the Plumas to log the last overtime before the rains hit northern California on the 24th.  With the season drawing to a close, Tracy scored another good deal when he went to Reno with Gary Harris to supervise the demobilization of the Ingalls.  Rumor has it that Golik and Klaseen were hard pressed to keep up with the irrepressible base manager in the world's biggest little city, and filed this quote when they returned to Redding:  "You gotta know when to fold 'em."

     Redding had their share of jump related injuries this year with Nani suffering damage to his knee, Ryan and Steffens out with back injuries and rookie Frank Hayes laying his leg open with a chain saw.  Finally, Al Foley, looking for, "....just a little something to eat..." won this years Better Living through Better Driving Award, and Gina Martinez resigned her position as secretary to go to school in Santa Barbara.

     Steve Abrams and Don “Max” Sand led the crew this year with twenty-two and twenty-one jumps; each man garnered sixteen fire jumps.  The California Smokejumpers amassed 331 fire jumps to 125 fires, and dispatched 206 men to twenty ground action fires.  Out-of-region activity saved the season for the Redding Unit (and Steve Meyer who had 14 out-of-region jumps) as 215 fire jumps were logged in Alaska and Regions I, IV and VI while experiencing the indignity of only 116 jumps to 25 fires in Region V - the second lowest total in the base's history.


1981 Statistics


Smokejumpers:  forty-one                                    50 Jump Award:     Steve Abrams
New Men:  six                                                                                         Pat Bailey
Aircraft:  Twin Otters (2)                                                                       John Bald
Alaska Detail:  Steve Meyer                                                                   Jim Gerber
Steve Abrams                                                                 Dan Mitchell
Dennis Golik                                                                   Tim Quigley

                          Thor Johnson                                                                  Gary Sexton
                          Sven Klaseen                                                                  Max Sand

                          Mike Poetzsch                                                                 Jeff Steffens
Tim Quigley                                  100 Jump Award:   Rob Early
Rick Rife                                                                         Dennis Golik

                          Max Sand                                                                        Bob Harris

                          Jeff Steffens                                   200 Jump Award:  Gary Johnson
250 Jump Award:   Dick Tracy




            Tracy, Richard                                                                        Hodgin, Kevin
Johnson, Gary                                                             Holmes, Nick
Nani, Dave                                                                  Johnson, Thor
Sterrett, Don                                                               Klaseen, Sven
Noble, Dave                                                                Linebarger, Dick
Early, Rob                                                                   Maasen, George
Meyer, Steve                                                               Mitchell, Dan
Abrams, Steve                                                             Newlun, Bill
Bailey, Pat                                                                   Omont, Ron
Baker, Norm                                                               Perkins, Ken
Bald, John                                                                   Poetzsch, Mike
Cravens, Arlen                                                            Quigley, Tim
Foley, Al                                                                     Rife, Rick
Gersbach, Rich                                                            Ryan, Ralph
Gerber, Jim                                                                  Sand, Don
Golik, Dennis                                                              Sexton, Gary
Haagenson, Rick                                                         Steffens, Jeff
Harris, Bob                                                                  Youmans, Mark
Hartgrave, Larry                                                         Zeitler, Morgan
Hayes, Frank                                                               Zumalt, Jerry

                                                                                                Gina Martinez, Secretary

Fire Jumps – 331
Training Jumps – 224



     Concluding a long and illustrious career, Richard Tracy retired on April 30th; but those expecting to find the grizzled veteran of numerous campaigns in a rocking chair sipping Wild Turkey and barbecuing steak will be surprised to learn that he still knows how to run a chain saw and split firewood (word has it, however, that he continued to excel at delegating).  Gary Johnson, an R05 institution in his own right, was selected as the new Smokejumper Base Manager.  Gramps took the job on the condition that nothing be allowed to interfere with his lunchtime distance running.  Since this season ran true to California from ("fire season..let's see, an old jumper told me about one of those once."), “Gramps” logged the miles, and even bagged a jump on the Klamath (but, alas, not the three-manner in the Alps that the request specified).

     The season started on May 29th when Redding manned the Butcher Fire on the Siskiyou National Forest.  The first load made it in without incident, but the second was cancelled after Dave Noble fractured his right femur in front of the waiting ambulance and a standing room only crowd of firefighters.  Attention was immediate, and Dave spent ten days in the hospital at Coos Bay planning his strategy for nailing down the Training Foreman's job.

     The month of June was one of the busier in recent memory until rains washed out the early season bust on the 24th.  Redding accumulated 99 jumps, another injured squadleader (Rob Early - ribs), and a surprised Frank Hayes hanging in an 80 ft. Madrone along the tranquil banks of (where?) Wooley Creek!  The fire bust was especially noteworthy for the large number of classic smokejumper fires - 2 and 3 manners in the remote areas of the Shasta-Trinity, Six Rivers and Klamath National Forests.  That was the good news.  The bad: Redding did not turn another prop for almost two months as Big Ernie took a long deserved (but untimely) vacation.

     In the meantime, the twice delayed Alaska detail finally got off the ground, and Sterrett took ten men north on the 26th.  Ryan, Zeitler and Sexton, who had the excellent foresight to make the second Wooley Creek jump of the season, were left behind to contemplate how they were going to pay off those large per diem advances.  Alaska stayed busy for three weeks, and the crew logged 31 jumps on 20 fires.  However, BLM action was rained out early this year, and the crew flew home to Redding after only a month up north. 

     Dave Nani, recognizing a sinking ship when he saw one, climbed into his Cessna and flew east for an extended vacation (during fire season?) at the Oshkosh, Wisconsin Air Show.  Word has it that he met and impressed many mid-Westerners with his tall tales of smokejumper lore.  His photographs revealed (and his wife confirmed) that his eyes were on "Sweet Mary Lou" at least as often as they were on his aeronautical charts.

     Northern California was finally hit with lightning again on the 19th of August, and a few jumps were made on the Plumas National Forest.  Among these hardy few was Kevin "I don't need a tool" Hodgin who was quick in fashioning a scraping took from a rock when Dave Nani streamered a fire pack and impaled it on a dead top Cedar giving him the distinction of being the first spotter in smokejumper history to hang-up cargo without a cargo chute.  This little episode cost Dave a case of beer, but resulted in Kev getting four more jumpers.  During this "bust", Redmond flew down for the second time and bagged jumps on the Plumas and Shasta-Trinity, and stuck around to experience the R-5 ultimate:  CDF ground pounders.  Arsonists provided action in late August on the Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers, and the final fire jumps were made on the Klamath when Johnson led a crew action on the Cyclone Fire.

     The State deserves some mention again this year for their continued utilization of jumpers on RO II fires.  Dispatches were received for smoldering haystacks, arson created brush fires and uncontrollable prescription burns.  The "State" also proved to be a good deal for Sven Klaseen, Pat Bailey and rookie Dennis Davenport as they nailed down jobs with the CDF and Fish & Game.

     Crew injuries probably totaled more than jumps for the season, but the fellows did somehow manage to amass 145 fire jumps to thirty-two fires in Region 5 with 89 men seeing action on seven ground pounders.  Frank Hayes and Doug Swantner led the crew with 16 jumps apiece.  In retrospect, the fire season was really over before it started.


1982 Statistics


Smokejumpers:  forty-one                                  50 Jump Award:    Rick Haagenson
New Men: four                                                                                     Nick Holmes

Aircraft:  Twin Otters (2)                                                                    Thor Johnson

Alaska Detail:  Don Sterrett                                                                 Mike Poetzsch
Arlen Cravens                                                              Rick Rife
Jim Gerber                                   100 Jump Award:  Steve Meyer
Rick Haagenson                                                            Larry Hartgrave

                          Franke Hayes                                                                Ralph Ryan
                         George Maasen                                                              Jerry Zumalt

                          Dan Mitchell
Ken Perkins
Jeff Steffens
Jerry Zumalt




            Johnson, Gary                                                             Johnson, Thor
Nani, Dave                                                                  Klaseen, Sven
Noble, Dave                                                                Linebarger, Dick
Sterrett, Don                                                               Maasen, George
Early, Rob                                                                   Mitchell, Dan
Meyer, Steve                                                               Newlun, Bill
Huntington, Tim                                                         Omont, Ron
Hartgrave, Larry                                                         Perkins, Ken
Bailey, Pat                                                                   Poetzsch, Mike
Baker, Norm                                                               Quigley, Tim
Barker, John                                                                Rife, Rick
Bald, John                                                                   Ryan, Ralph
Cravens, Arlen                                                            Sand, Don
Davenport, Dennis                                                      Sexton, Gary
Foley, Al                                                                     Steffens, Jeff
Gerber, Jim                                                                  Swantner, Doug
Haagenson, Rick                                                         Thorne, Andy
Harris, Bob                                                                  Wales, Dale
Hayes, Frank                                                               Youmans, Mark
Hodgin, Kevin                                                                        Zeitler, Morgan
Holmes, Nick                                                              Zumalt, Jerry

            Fire Jumps – 176                                                         Terri Hitchcock, Secretary
Training Jumps – 266


Smokejumper action began on the East side this season when Redding jumped fires on the Plumas (05/29).  Rather than place the designated Alaska detailers on hold, several were dropped.  Naturally, a rush fire order was cut in Alaska and channeled through BIFC for ten.  A hastily organized crew flew north with Meyer, and Foley + 5 made the first BLM fire jump on 2 June.  Meanwhile, back in R-5 activity came to a screeching halt after ten were dropped on the Shasta-Trinity on 8 June.  Those missing the Alaska trip were not to be consoled.

       Alaska's bust continued through June with about 250 jumpers working out of Fairbanks and various satellite bases.  Noble brought more jumpers north from Redding on 29 June, and Maasen led this booster crew with 5 fire jumps.  Mitchell, Foley and Zumalt each made 11 fire jumps working in the Big A through 12 July on fires.  The detailers averaged 9 jumps apiece as Redding accumulated 154 jumps on 35 fires across the state.

     Fire activity resumed in Region 5 in late July with a few fires on the Shasta-Trinity, but this was followed by another dry spell until mid-August.  Lightning started fires on the northern forests provided action from 08/13 to 08/24: approximately 70 jumps were made on 22 fires.  The last jumps of the season were made on 24 September by Thorne, Swantner and Baker.  What looked to be a good deal turned bad as the Otter developed engine trouble and was forced to return to Redding without dropping cargo, and the Weaverville helicopter was used to sling-load in the fire packs.  What could be slung in, however, could not be helicoptered out; after following forest instructions to build a helispot, those instructions were changed.  The boys, then, made a miserable pack out to end another slow California jump season.

     On the strength of their Alaska jumps, Foley and Zumalt led the crew with twenty jumps each this year.


1983 Statistics


Smokejumpers: forty                                 50 Jump Award:     George Maasen
New Jumpers:  eight                                  100 Jumps Award:  Tim Huntington
Aircraft:  Twin Otters (2)                                                             Arlen Cravens
Fire Jumps:                                                                                   Ken Perkins

   Alaska:       154

   CA:            133

   Total:         287

Alaska Detail:  Steve Meyer
Norm Baker
Al Foley
Rick Haagenson
Bob Harris

                          Nick Holmes

                          Dan Mitchell
Doug Swantner
Dale Wales
Jerry Zumalt




            Johnson, Gary                                                             Linebarger, Dick
Nani, Dave                                                                  Loughton, Tony
Noble, Dave                                                                Maasen, George
Sterrett, Don                                                               Mally, Ken
Early, Rob                                                                   Mitchell, Dan
Meyer, Steve                                                               Newlun, Bill
Huntington, Tim                                                         Omont, Ron
Bald, John                                                                   Perkins, Ken
Baker, Norm                                                               Pryce, Diane
Barker, John                                                                Quigley, Tim
Brockman, Scott                                                         Roos, Omar
Cravens, Arlen                                                            Ryan, Ralph
Emry, Dan                                                                   Sand, Don
Foley, Al                                                                     Sexton, Gary
Gerber, Jim                                                                  Swantner, Doug
Haagenson, Rick                                                         Thorne, Andy
Harris, Bob                                                                  Wales, Dale
Hodgin, Kev                                                               Wilkins, Joe
Holmes, Nick                                                              Woodhead, Gordon
Johnson, Thor                                                              Youmans, Mark
Jones, Stan                                                                  Zeitler, Morgan
Zumalt, Jerry

            Fire Jumps – 287
Training Jumps – 271



     The winter crew spent the off season moving into the new NCSC facility, and rumor has it that large doses of patience, perseverance and Excedrin were required of those assisting the loft foreman's "settling in".  The training units were also relocated, and a new landing simulator designed and built proving the old maxim:  "if its not broken, don't fix it... if you don't need it, don't buy it".  Ah, well....

     In late April, R-5 reluctantly agreed to make the first parachute jumps from McCall's new T/O, and Don Sterrett, determined to avoid injury making a fire jump, broke his ankle, and (with an assist from some pesky kidney stones) was out of action for the year.  Most of the refresher training was done in May with qualifying jumps made from McCall's Beech 99.  California finally had an airplane on contract in time to jump the first fire of the season:  an 18 manner on the Mendocino (05/21).  Big Ernie was apparently a little displeased with the jump spot and a little "gust of wind" helped the fire burn through parachutes, jump gear and cargo.

     Bob Harris scored a good deal in June when he took R-5's lone Rookie to MSO for training; it wasn't a good deal for the rookie, however, as he broke his ankle and washed out.  Lack of spring moisture created favorable burning conditions for an early fire season and 45 jumps to 9 fires were recorded by 30 June.

     Noble took nine jumpers with him to Alaska for the annual detail in mid-June, and the crew was busy until about the 4th of July:  59 jumps to 45 fires.  As Alaska activity increased, several booster crews were ordered from the lower 48; Bald, Cravens, Gerber and Mitchell flew north as riggers.  J.B. and A.P. enjoyed themselves in Alaska, caught a commercial flight to Redding and jumped a fire as reinforcements for Meyer in the Alps.  Eyewitness claim that Arlen forgot how to use his toggles and capped a spike-top, school marm pine; they also report he forgot how to climb - much to J.B.'s profit.

     Fire activity remained steady through July.  Booster crews from Redmond and MSO came down, but only three R-6 jumpers were dropped on fires and R-1 was dispatched to ground pounders.  However, smiling foreman Larry Fite flew home to MSO with a pocket full of cash as he won $300.00 on a $10. flip.

     With increased jumper use in California, injuries mounted.  Kev Hodgin took one glance at the growing number of accidents & CA-1's, and with a hardy assist from the jumper overhead, bailed out to the greener pastures of a district job on the Six Rivers.

     August was slow in California.  However, Johnson left his office long enough to lead a crew action jump on the Klamath.  Thinking he had escaped all the paperwork back home, “Gramps” witnessed two more of his jumpers slam in and be helicoptered off yet another fire.

     Willing to turn almost anywhere now to find healthy bodies, “Gramps” left no tussock unturned (as it were) and grabbed three Alaska jumpers to finish out the season in R-5.  They arrived in time for a trip to Redmond where Redding made 18 jumps to 5 fires.  Palmer earned his 200th jump pin and with Zumalt became the first R-5 jumpers to man a fire in the Ochoco (there's more to the story, but no one's talking).  High winds and rocks on the Umatilla took their toll on Tetter and Holmes; two more out with injuries.

     A late August bust in R-1 saw 29 Redding jumpers each make fire jumps out of MSO.  High winds ultimately created numerous campaign fires, and as most out-of-region jumpers were sent to R-5 to jumps fire on the Klamath and Plumas, Redding's remaining R-1 contingent pounded fires until 6 September.  Under cover of a high level smokejumper meeting to attend, Johnson winged his way to MSO and managed his second fire jump of the season.

     Lightning activity in mid-September brought booster crews to Redding for the final time this year and 75 jumps were made on 20 fires, primarily on the Klamath and Six Rivers.  The last fire jumped this year was on 20 September by three R-1 jumpers on the Klamath.

     Highlights of the year included Loughton's 20 jumps (17 fires) to lead the crew, Noble completing his third consecutive season without making a fire jump in R-5. A final note:  Bill Newlun, after 15 years as the "World's Best Dressed Smokejumper," subject of various media campaigns and with careers at McCall, Boise and Redding, finally put away his sharpening stone and retired to a life of leisure in Mt. Shasta.


1984 Statistics


Smokejumpers:  forty-three                                                  50 Jumps Award:  Norm Baker
New Jumpers:  none                                                                                              Al Foley

Aircraft:  Twin Otters (2)                                                                                       Mark Youmans

Alaska Detail:  Dave Noble                                                  100 Jumps Award:  Ron Omont
John Barker                                                  150 Jumps Award:  Kev Hodgin
Tony Loughton                                                                               Dave Noble
Ken Mally                                                    200 Jumps Award:  Chris Palmer
Ron Omont

                          Ralph Ryan

                         Gary Sexton

                         Andy Thorne

                         Joe Wilkins
Gordon Woodhead




            Johnson, Gary                                                             Maasen, George
Nani, Dave                                                                  Mally, Ken
Noble, Dave                                                                Mitchell, Dan
Bald, John                                                                   Newlun, Bill
Early, Rob                                                                   Omont, Ron
Huntington, Tim                                                         Perkins, Ken
Meyer, Steve                                                               Pryce, Diane
Sterrett, Don                                                               Quigley, Tim
Baker, Norm                                                               Roos, Omar
Barker, John                                                                Ryan, Ralph
Brockman, Scott                                                         Sand, Don
Cravens, Arlen                                                            Sexton, Gary
Emry, Dan                                                                   Swantner, Doug
Foley, Al                                                                     Teter, Buzz
Gerber, Jim                                                                  Thorne, Andy
Haagenson, Rick                                                         Wilkins, Joe
Harris, Bob                                                                  Woodhead, Gordon
Hodgin, Kev                                                               Youmans, Mark
Holmes, Nick                                                              Zumalt, Jerry
Jones, Stan                                                                  Palmer, Chris
Loughton, Tony                                                          Pettitt, Tim
Schneegas, Gary

            Fire Jumps – 333                                                         Carolyn Kephart, Secretary
Training Jumps – 189



     February (?) saw the winter crew making experimental jumps to test parachutes constructed of O/1o-porosity; but because of performance characteristics of the FS-12 and no identifiable advantages to changing porosity, no changes were made in the existing parachute.

     Ostensibly hired of finish winter sewing projects, Ryan, Harris, Quigley and Sand failed to find any loft work and hopped a commercial flight to the Southeast touring Region 8 with their O.T. books.  Cravens stayed in Redding contemplating whether or not he alone deserved a cash award.

     California experienced its second consecutive hot, dry Spring.  On May 2, winds fanned a smoldering slash burn into a project fire on Mt. Shasta with Redding sending a 20 man pounder crew to the incident. and they established their own I.C. Post at the Newlun's.

     “Gramps” flew to Alaska in May, went through "Rookie" training on the Ram-Air, made seven qualifying jumps and with other base managers and BLM officials
attempted to work out details for the transfer of BLM jumpers to the lower 48.

     Eight rookies completed training this year and Haagenson used them to break in the new training facilities and obstacle course.  Red Mt., near the eastern edge of the Trinity Alps, was selected as a new field training site, because as J.B. was overheard to say, "Rocks, Boy, you've never seen such rock".

     The first fire jumps of the season were made on May 24 to two lightning fires on the Toiyabe.  One was manned without mishap, but wind and rocks proved too much on the other as Swantner broke his back, Loughton his foot and Wilkens bruised his heel.  Lightning finally struck the northern forests of R-5 in late June.  Redding jumped out on the SHF with Zumalt making two in one day, and McCall boosting the effort.

     On the morning of the Redding bust, Meyer + 10 were dispatched to Caliente, NV - prepositioning for the Great Basin.  The Otter developed mechanical problems at a refueling stop in Ely, and Frost flew back to Reno for repairs while Sexton organized a crew action on the sleepy hamlet.  The jumpers moved south the next day with Barker joining R-5's two video tech.'s (Early & Harris) for a Las Vegas District BLM fire jump on the 24th.

     In July, Johnson traveled to Grand Junction with 10, and while Perkins + 3 jumped the Moab BLM in southern Utah, the rest of the crew enjoyed the pool and cuisine of a nearby motel.

     As campaign fires continued to burn in southern California, lightning moved across the northwest on July 7th starting numerous fires in Idaho and Montana.  Johnson took his Otter load on to McCall and the crew jumped a gobbler on the Nez Perce demanning two days later to Grangeville.

     On the 8th, Redding sent jumpers to Redmond and Missoula.  110 jumps were made in R-1 and the guys in R-6 bagged 28 while Thorne counted 3 out of McCall before returning to California for an extended bust.  Barker took his time coming home because of his convalescence in a Missoula hospital recovering from a broken leg. 

     The late July bust in R-5 was a good one.  Redding had jumpers working out of the base from Alaska, R-1, 4 and 6 through the end of the month.  Twenty BLM jumpers had arrived in Redding in mid-July, and some parachuted to fires in R-5 while the rest jumped squares in the Great Basin.

     As activity slowed in California, 24 jumpers were fire ordered to Alaska; 9 from Redding made the trip and accumulated 31 jumps in an exceptionally late AK bust (For the first time in ten years no lower 48 jumpers were detailed to the Big A).

     August fire business was almost non-existent in California, but Redding sent every available jumper to R-6 late in the month where the crew made 59 jumps.  Most grabbed two jumps apiece and several jumped fire in both Redmond and Winthrop before everyone ended up at NCSB.  Noble went to Winthrop and stayed with the plane, spotting (Sterrett offered to trade with him, but the foreman was "having too much fun spotting," to hook-up).  He was, however, coaxed into his gear for a practice jump after most of the Redding contingent had returned to California.

     The fire season limped along through September in R-5, but practice jumps were all that was logged in the Golden State.  The crew closed out the year burning slash with Nani and Sterrett at Hayfork.  The loft foreman returned to base with a grimace, and it wasn't chest pains causing his discomfort.

     The major highlight of the year was the jump total:  395 - only 30 short of the 1967 record (425).  The minor was that California once again demonstrated that jumper utilization was not a regional priority.  Ken Perkins led the crew with 22 (13 fires) jumps at the young age of 39.  Jones and Bennett both managed to lose radios on out-of-region assignments, and J.B. scored the good deal as a firefighter recruiter on the shores of Lake Pend Oroville.


1985 Statistics

Smokejumpers:  Forty                                             50 Jumps Award:  Andy Thorne
New Jumpers:  Eight                                                                                Doug Swantner
Aircraft:  Twin Otters (2)                                                                          Buz Teter
100 Jumps Award:  John Bald

California BLM                                                                                        Rick Haagenson

Smokejumpers: twenty                                                                             Nick Holmes

                                                                                                                    Dan Mitchell

Pilots:  Greg Schmidt                                                                                 Tim Quigley
Bill Frost                                                                                        Don Sand

                                                                                                                    Gary Sexton

                                                                                  150 Jumps Award:  Bob Harris
Ralph Ryan

                                                                                                                     Jerry Zumalt

                                                                                                                     Don Sterret 




            Johnson, Gary                                                             Holmes, Nick
Nani, Dave                                                                  Jones, Stan
Noble, Dave                                                                Kubota, Stan
Sterrett, Don                                                               Leclair, Jim
Early, Rob                                                                   Loughton, Tony
Meyer, Steve                                                               Maasen, George
Huntington, Tim                                                         Mally, Ken
Bald, John                                                                   Miller, Brian
Archibald, Roger                                                        Mitchell, Dan
Baker, Norm                                                               Omont, Ron
Barker, John                                                                Perkins, Ken
Bennett, Michael                                                         Pryce, Diane
Brockman, Scott                                                         Quigley, Tim
Cleary, Dennis                                                                        Ryan, Ralph
Cravens, Arlen                                                            Sand, Don
Derham, Hugh                                                                        Sexton, Gary
Emry, Dan                                                                   Swantner, Doug
Foley, Al                                                                     Teter, Buzz
Haagenson, Rick                                                         Thorne, Andy
Harris, Bob                                                                  Wilkins, Joe
Hernandez, Dan                                                          Youmans, Mark
Zumalt, Jerry
Fire Jumps – 393                                                        
Training Jumps – 307
Test jumps – 6



     Five rookies completed smokejumper training in Redding this season, but because of the high attrition rate, five more were hired and trained in Redmond under the supervision of Jerry Zumalt.  Before the season began, squadleaders, Rob Early and Steve Meyer terminated their association with the jumper unit and moved on to new endeavors.  Bob Harris and Rick Haagenson were named to replace them.  Ken Perkins made two fire jumps, harassed this year's rookie class, worked out a one year leave of absence and flew off to the South Pacific to join ex-jumper Buz Teter on Kwajalein Island.  Gary Johnson, on the other hand, didn't make any fire jumps, but worked out a series of details vowing, unlike McArthur, "never to return".  Dave Nani and Dave Noble shared Base Manager duties through the season.

     Several lightning fires were jumped on the Shasta-Trinity in June, but Al "I'm not coming back next year" Foley burned out of a tree on South Fork Mountain and broke a couple of ribs necessitating a night evacuation by winch and helicopter.  Talk about your long line retrievals and expeditious chain saw work by Gary Robinson and Dan Emery!  Cravens, Holmes and Omont picked up a good deal in Lassen N.P. and Huntington +7 enjoyed the Middle Eel Wilderness Area of the Mendocino for a couple of days.  However, the promise of a good season in June quickly left a bad taste in everyone's mouth.. not another fire was jumped out of Redding until 25 July.

     Fortunately, Alaska was busy and Redding sent two loads north as boosters.  Unfortunately for Tony Loughton, he was grocery shopping when Alaska was requesting jumpers and was left behind.  The guys made 90 fire jumps and Gary Sexton added a practice jump for good measure.  August proved to be a good month for out-of-region trips as the California jumpers boosted Redmond several times with one load moving onto Winthrop to escape the Volpar (53 jumps, R-6).  Sterrett took a load to McCall (32 jumps, R-4), Huntington, a crew to Missoula and some of the guys visited West Yellowstone (20 jumps, R-1).  Hernandez, Miller and Nebeker became the first R-5 personnel to parachute into the Bridger-Teton when they were dispatched from Grangeville to the Higby Fire.  Hernandez (again!), Emery, Quigley and Haught made Redding's first fire jumps out of West Yellowstone on the Gallatin and Salmon National Forest.

     Activity was sporadic at best in R-5, but Redding manned fires during the first two weeks in August on the Klamath, Shasta-Trinity and Plumas.  Loughton and Richardson were the last Redding jumpers to parachute to a fire in California this year when they jumped the Moonlight Fire on the Plumas on 17 August.

     September saw most of the larger fires in Region 6 extinguished and nothing much happened in California.  On the 9th, a 20 man crew flew to the Sierra National Forest and pounded the Deer Fire as weather turned wet and cold in Northern California.  Rick Haagenson stayed behind to repair parachutes and update driver's licenses.

     Tim Huntington and Leroy "night jumpers" Haught led the unit with 22 and 21 jumps respectively, and Max Sand, Brian Miller and Mark Motes added 20 each to the 606 total (309 fire/297 practice).  And finally, Andy Thorne made it through a season with no CA-1's or screams of pain from the bottom of cut blocks.  The ultimate highlight of the year was Youmans tree-up on a 250-acre meadow jump in Region 6.  The quote of the year "... He was the look of a hollow man..."  attributed to Don Sterrett, but that might be just another rumor.


1986 Statistics


Smokejumpers:  forty                                         50 Jumps Award:   Scott Brockman
Rookies:  Ten                                                                                        Hank Falcon
Aircraft:  Twin Otters (2)                                                                      Ken Mally
Pilots:  Bill Frost                                                 100 Jumps Award:   Dan Emry

             Harry Gorman                                         150 Jumps Award:   Arlen Cravens

             Greg Schmidt                                                                             Tim Huntington

Secretary:  Ilene Hess                                         250 Jumps Award:  Gary Johnson

Alaska Detail: 

            Tim Huntington

            Scott Brockman
Mark Youmans
Tim Quigley
Don Sand




            Dave Noble                                                                 Dan Hernandez
Dave Nani                                                                   Nick Holmes
Don Sterrett                                                                Stan Kubota
Tim Huntington                                                          Tony Loughton
John Bald                                                                    George Maasen
Bob Harris                                                                   Ken Mally
Rick Haagenson                                                          Brian Miller
Dan Arnold                                                                 Mark Motes
Norm Baker                                                                Carl Nebeker
Michael Bennett                                                          Ron Omont
Steve Bierman                                                             Tim Quigley
Scott Brockman                                                          Horacio Ramos
Chris Cochrane                                                           Bob Richardson
Arlen Cravens                                                             Gary Robinson
John Decker                                                                Jeff Robinson
Dan Emry                                                                    Don Sand
Hank Falcon                                                                Gary Sexton
Al Foley                                                                      Andy Thorne
Pete Hansen                                                                Mark Youmans
Leroy Haught                                                              Jerry Zumalt

            Not to be forgotten:    Gary Johnson
Ken Perkins

            Fire Jumps – 332
Training Jumps – 297
Rescue Jumps – 6



     This fire season was marked by two district periods of activity in Northern California.  On May 7th, Redding dropped jumpers on west side lightning fires, and continuing activity through May resulted in 63 jumps to 14 fires.  June continued busy, particularly toward the end of the month when Shasta-Trinity was pounded.  Booster crews from several bases made trips to R-5, fires spread rapidly and good deal three manners quickly became non-existent.  By June 27, 149 jumps were made on 33 fires.  Action was sporadic in July (a mini-bust on the Klamath National Forest) and slim in August although the crew was committed to some ground action assignments.  Significant rainfall (in July) and a lack of lightning effectively put the dampers on the season.

     Out-of-region trips were limited to the 5 man Alaska Detail (a moderate season, although the fires were large: 26 jumps), Haagenson and Zumalt's trip to Silver City where they dropped cargo and scored a jump, and fast late season trips to McCall and Grangeville (4 fires, 7 jumps, including a practice jump for Quigley).  The real action was in R-5 & R-6.

     On August 27, the "second season" began.  Lightning started fires on the Plumas and Tahoe and the Stanisluas National Forests experienced extensive dry lightning on the 29th.  On the 30th, intense lightning hit most of the northern forests.  Multiple starts and rapid spread generally exhausted R-5 resources and 66 fires quickly reached project size.  Booster crews from every jump base except R-6 flew into Redding, and during the next month 233 jumps were made to 24 fires.  Obviously, crew action was the mode.  Man caused fires and additional lightning in the mid-Sierras provided another 9 fires and 60 jumps (9/28-10/12).  Throughout September and October the R-5 jump base provided pounder crews to several large fires, filling 13 requests and committing 219 jumpers for more than 16,000 man hours.  The jump base also provided Ramp Managers to taxi, park and process 13,000 fire suppression personnel.  A field kitchen was set up at NCSC to feed crews and Ken Mally, always quick to spot a good deal, printed and sold t-shirts by the hundreds for the Jump Fund.  More jumps were made from the Redding base this year than ever before, and although California Jumpers did not set a record for most jumps made in a season, most followed AP Cravens' slogan of "Jump for show, Pound for Dough," or "1,000 hours or Bust."

     Season highlights included the first jumps on the Eldorado in more than two decades (Scott Brockman bagged two), several jumps on the Tahoe National Forest and jumps on both the Sierra and Stanislaus.  Leo Wirachowsky probably won't forget jumping the Nielson Fire on the Klamath National Forest with 9 McCall Bros.: the fire already at 30+ gobbled jump gear and everything else in sight for 1,300 acres.  Hank Falcon disdaining meadow jumps looked around on the Tahoe and capped the biggest P-pine in sight.  Bob Harris found Slate Creek to his liking and made 12 return trips for proficiency jumps.  Russ Stauff put on a great seafood barbeque/bash, Gary Sexton "starred" in his own mini-documentary on smokejumping: "... just give me a pulaski, chain saw, some food and water and leave me alone...", and Ken Perkins came back from the South Pacific in early July, and by his account still led the crew in OT.  Other items of equally minor note included Gary Robinson quitting early to fall timber in Indonesia, Don Sand's basketball clinic on the Fout's Fire, Dan Hernandez breaking his finger as an assistant spotter, Sterrett his toe-kicking railroad ties - and Big Al Foley laying down the shovel to pick up a hammer.  Fortunately for Brian Miller, southern California experienced a major earthquake on the same day he made a fire jump; everyone thought the shaking ground was caused by aftershocks.  Ops Foreman, Tim Huntington, finding the Chance Fire a little dull, decided to conduct his own study of bat behavior characteristics in the Trinity Alps.  Reportedly, he will title his work "Close Encounters of the Wrong Kind; " his wife will author the Forward on government funding.  Carl Nebeker gets credit for the Quote of the Year:  "Everyone likes the Twin Otter, personally, I'll jump out of anything."

     Dave Noble replaced Gary Johnson as Base Manager and Tim Huntington was promoted to Operations Foreman; six rookies survived new-man training and John Bald's Rookie Camp.  Finally, Dave Nani made his final day October 2nd (?), and was last seen piloting a while bus on the Klamath National Forest.

     Redding jumpers amassed 297 fire jumps on 91 fires, and 227 fire jumps were made by boosters in R-5.  The final fire was jumped October 12 on the Tahoe National Forest.  Brockman and Tony Loughton each made 21 jumps, and Hernandez led the crew with 12 fire jumps.   Late season fire re-hab and the fire cache provided work for the most of the crew throughout the fall and winter, and with the new NCSC Master of Disaster, Sid Nobles, proclaiming that, "speed limits will be observed," and, "there will be two turkeys in every jumpers" oven at Thanksgiving (except one), the season slowly faded into memory.

1987 Statistics


Airplanes:  2 Twin Otters (Empire)                                Smokejumpers: 39
Pilots:  Bill Frost                                                              Rookies: 6

            Greg Schmidt

            Harry Gorman

Alaska Detail:  Don Sterrett                                             50 Jump Award:
A.P. Cravens                                                 Dan Hernandez                                       
Tony Loughton                                              Stan Kubota

                          Dan Hernandez                                              Brian Miller

                          Carl Nebeker

100 Jump Pin:  Norm Baker                                             150 Jump Award:
Ron Omont
Ken Perkins



            Dave Noble                                                                 Brian Miller
Dave Nani                                                                   Carl Nebeker
Tim Huntington                                                          Ron Omont
Don Sterrett                                                                Ken Perkins
John Bald                                                                    Diane Pryce *
Bob Harris                                                                   Tim Quigley
Rick Haagenson                                                          Bob Richardson
Dan Arnold                                                                 Gary Robinson
Norm Baker                                                                Jeff Robinson
Steve Bierman                                                             Don Sand
Scott Brockman                                                          Gary Sexton
Chris Cochrane                                                           Russ Stauff
Arlen Cravens                                                             Andrew Thorne
John Decker                                                                Jerry Zumalt
Henry Falcon                                                              Matt Beer
Al Foley                                                                      Jeff Dodd
Dan Hernandez                                                           Steve Franke
Stan Kubota                                                                Jim Hansen
Tony Loughton                                                           Scott Whitmire
George            Maasen                                                            Leo Wirachowsky
Ken Mally

            *Detail to Mt. Shasta R.D.

Clerk – Leslie Hanel

            Fire Jumps – 297
Training Jumps – 318



     The 1988 fire season arrived early as jumpers were dispatched to a fire near Mt. Shasta on 14 March.  Matt Beer abandoned the fire cache and signed on as Crew Boss.  Refresher training was moved up and an Otter was brought on to prepare for late Spring dispatches.  A half dozen of Redmond's finest came down for refresher training, and Tony Loughton followed them back up to R-6 as a new Squadleader.  The first fire jumps of the year were delayed by a little rain and not recorded until 16 June on the Plumas National Forest.  As activity slowed (what activity?) in California, Redding sent a load to West Yellowstone for a week's R & R.   Brockman and Huntington managed a fire jump and awesome packout on the Bridger-Teton, but the remainder of the crew was content with proficiency jumps and touring the park.  Fire activity remained relatively quiet in Northern California until late July when Redding dropped jumpers on the Stanislaus, Tahoe, Lassen, Klamath and Shasta-Trinity Forests.  Out-of-region jumpers were used on each of these forests and the Lassen National Park, Mendocino, Modoc and Plumas National Forests as almost daily dispatches continued through 17 August.  By the end of the month 310 fire jumps had been made to suppress 80 fires.  September was relatively slow, and marked by two crew action jumps on the Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity Forests.  Jumpers remained on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest's Hermit Fire for ten days, and then, returned for an extensive rehab assignment as the season drew to a close.  The last fire jumps of the season were made on 11 October - Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity National Forests (if you're not laid off - suit up!)

     The Alaska Detail went north and began jumping fires on 14 June, but the season was relatively slow and sporadic with widespread rain in the latter part of the month.  Lower 48 jumpers were released back south in late June because of fires in the Western U.S., generally, and Eastern Montana particularly.  Activity in R-5, as noted above, was slow, however.  The BLM began calling for booster crews back to Alaska (Opps!) following the first week of July, and Redding finally received a BIFC courtesy call on 7/14.  Twenty flew north and making the most of their opportunity started jumping fires the next day.  Rookies Hinojosa and Bente made the trip, and Hinojosa made his first fire jump in the Big A.  Part of the crew returned to Redding after a couple of weeks (that pesky Consent Decree reared its UGLY head again); the rest remained until the end of the first week of August.  In all, 97 fire jumps were made by R-5 jumpers to 32 fires.  Most of these fires were large, and burned out-of-control for weeks as the Alaska fire season seemed to drag on to eternity.

     Out-of-Region trips started in earnest for Redding in mid-July.  One load flew to McCall on the 14th (23 jumps, 15 fires), and another went to Missoula the next day (10 jumps, 6 fires).  A third load was dispatched to West Yellowstone on the 17th (18 jumps, 9 fires).  And, a final trip was a Winthrop visit on 8/23 (14 jumps, 6 fires).  Meanwhile, with Yellowstone National Park going up in flames and the Park Service finally relenting from their stringent "Let-Burn" policies, several California Jumpers tied in with military personnel from Ft. Lewis and embarked from WYL to lend a hand.  All but one lone soul returned in September; J.R. Hansen filed a claim on the Clover/Mist Incident and worked for 52 days to fulfill the requirements of the Homestead Lands Act.

     The California Smokejumpers logged 401 fire jumps to 141 fires.  Out-of-Region jumpers made 128 fire jumps in Region 5.  The jumper unit recorded the highest total of fire jumps since 1967 this year and many of the fires (in R-5) were small, classic smokejumper fires.  Even though a hard drought with extremely high temperatures persisted in California for a second year, some moisture was associated with each lightning storm that came through the area.  Leo Hinojosa led the unit with 25 total jumps, Al Foley and John Decker topped the crew with 15 and 14 fire jumps, respectively, and Stan Kubota broke 1,000 hours of O.T.  Several of the jumpers earned more than 800 (Dan Hernandez for the second year in a row).  Other highlights included 53 jumps to 13 fires on the Tahoe National Forest. 41 jumps to 13 fires on the Lassen (including the Park), and 9 jumps to 2 fires on the Modoc. You just gotta love those East side jumps.

     Other 1988 curiosities included a sometime pilot and former Coordinator at NZ steering white buses across the Western U.S. and the ground of NCSC (don't those retirees have ANYTHING to do?), the short lived, but ever popular, Sid Nobles Hot Shot Crew, J.B. dropping streamers off Half-Dome in Yosemite National Park, and those illusive 8 & 18's making it through the season unfilled (How long, oh Lord, how long?).  Finally, for the first time since Nani ("Who?" one Rookies asked) was a BOY, there was no end-of-the-year party.  Due in large part, I'm sure to the Ken Perkins's purchase of a new adobe.  Or, maybe the Phantom just stole the darn thing for 88.  Who knows?  Quote of the year:  "We slammed, and jammed, and then got canned!...What is an FTE anyway?".  Fire season persisted into November without smokejumpers or rain this year, and the PFT's (minus one GS-11) participated in a mid-December suppression effort on the Mendocino National Forest.


1988 Statistics


Aircraft:  Twin Otters (2)               Smokejumpers:  40
Pilots:  Bill Frost                             Rookies:  6
Carl Downing

             Harry Gorman

Alaska Detail:                              50 Jump Award:              100 Jump Award:
Bob Harris                                      John Decker                        Al Foley
Dan Arnold                                    Carl Nebeker                       George Maasen
Norm Baker                                   Jeff Robinson                       Ken Mally
Al Foley                                                                                      Andy Thorne
Stan Kubota


150 Jump Award:                       200 Jump Award:
John Bald                                         Bob Harris
Rick Haagenson                               Don Sterrett
Tim Quigley                                    Jerry Zumalt
Don Sand




            Noble, Dave                                                                Hernandez, Dan
Huntington, Tim                                                         Hernandez, Fred
Bald, John                                                                   Hinojosa, Leo
Sterrett, Don                                                               Hyland, Pat
Harris, Bob                                                                  Kubota, Stan
Haagenson, Rick                                                         Laurie, Greg
Zumalt, Jerry                                                               Loughton, Tony
Cravens, Arlen                                                            Maasen, George
Arnold, Dan                                                                Mally, Ken
Baker, Norm                                                               Miller, Brian
Beer, Matt                                                                   Murphy, Steve
Bente, Bob                                                                  Nebeker, Carl
Brockman, Scott                                                         Omont, Ron
Cochrane, Chris                                                          Perkins, Ken
Decker, John                                                               Quigley, Tim
Dodd, Jeff                                                                  Robinson, Jeff
Falcon, Hank                                                               Sand, Don
Foley, Al                                                                     Thorne, Andy
Franke, Steve                                                              Wirachowsky, Leo
Hanson, Jim                                                                Whitmire, Scott

            Fire Jumps – 404
Training Jumps – 319
Rescue Jumps – 2


Well, what can you say about the 89 season?  When it was good... it was good, and when it was bad... it didn't exist in California. Early season jumps were made on the Shasta-Trinity on May 17th:  2 fires - 16 jumps, and 2 more fires on the Mendocino National Forest on June 7th.  The situation looked promising, but as usual in R-5, Big Ernie's carrot was followed by an even bigger stick as lightning activity proved to be pretty meager.  The Alaska Detail never really got off the ground either, as the BLM boys suffered through a pretty disappointing year.  Redding picked up some Tahoe jumps in July and August and logged a handful on other northern forests in late August and September.  The final fire jumps of the season were made on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest on September 30.  Region 5 totals for the year were 76 jumps to 18 fires.  The Tahoe provided the most action:  22 jumps on 6 incidents.

     A 20 man hand crew was dispatched to South Zone in late June and saw action on 4 fires in two weeks.  Erstwhile C.B. trainee, Hank Falcon, suspicious of helicopter water drops, performed his own analysis on the brown matter and determined that, yes indeed, minimally treated sewage was being dropped on unsuspecting troops.  Ya just gotta love the Cleveland.  Haagenson and Perkins worked as Fixed Wing Base Managers in R-3 and Bald, Cravens, Omont, Sand and Kubota organized cargo operations in Silver City and logged operational jumps on the Gila.  R-5 jumpers also initial attacked six fires on the Umatilla and Malheur from Redding in late July.

     Fortunately, R-4 & R-1 were relatively busy this season and relied heavily on R-5 personnel and aircraft.  Redding also worked with RAC to stage smokejumper operations out of LaGrande supplying jumpers and equipment to northeast Oregon.

     Season jump totals included one each from MSO and WYL, five at SVC, five from RAC, 10 from LAG, 11 at GAC, and 110 from MYL.  Harris worked the ramp at McCall for several weeks, and Arnold, Whitmire, Quigley, Perkins and Falcon boosted MYL as riggers and kept the parachute bins full.  Haagenson spent considerable time in GAC running their loft and even managed a few fire jumps around his kayak trips.  Rick Haagenson led the crew with 23 total jumps and Steve Franke made the most fire jumps:  11.  Hank Falcon, never in the right place at the right time, managed 1 fire jump.  Congratulations Hank!  Redding totals were 247 jumps to 104 fires.

     The Region 5 jumpers also provided category 1 crews to late season fires on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest (Dee) and Plumas National Forest (Layman).  Substantial commitments of personnel were made to Hayfork, Big Bar and Mad River for slash burning. And, the jumpers sent hardy climbers to the Lassen National Forest (Eagle Lake) and the Fremont in R-6 (Bly and Lakeview) for wildlife projects.


1989 Statistics

                                                                                            50 Jumps                          200 Jumps:
Aircraft:  Twin Otters (2)             Smokejumpers:  40    Scott Whitmire                  Arlen Cravens
Pilots:  Bill Frost                           Rookies:  6                  Matt Beer

             Doug Devereaux                                                     Jeff Dodd

                                               100 Jumps:                           Steve Franke
50 Jumps:                              Henry Falcon                        Jim Hansen
Matt Beer                               Scott Brockman                    Leo Wirachowsky



            Dan Arnold                                                                 Pat Hyland
John Bald                                                                    Greg Laurie
Bob Bente                                                                   Dorsey Lightner
Matt Beer                                                                    Ken Mally
Chris Church                                                               Steve Murphy
Arlen Cravens                                                             Dave Noble
John Decker                                                                Ron Omont
Jeff Dodd                                                                   Ken Perkins
Frank Domingues                                                        Tim Quigley
Hank Falcon                                                                Jeff Robinson
Al Foley                                                                      Don Sand
Steve Franke                                                               Hernan Sotela
Rick Haagenson                                                          Don Sterrett
Jim Hanson                                                                 Andy Thorne
Bob Harris                                                                   Scott Whitmire
Dan Hernandez                                                           Leo Wirachowsky
Fred Hernandez                                                          Jerry Zumalt
Tim Huntington

            Fire Jumps – 248
Training Jumps – 408