UW–Madison senior photographer Jeff Miller traveled to Boise, Idaho, to capture images of Todd “Jinks” Jinkins ’96 and his team of Great Basin Smokejumpers during a refresher training week in April 2016. The crew of eight works on small wildfires before they grow too big to control. Read the related article, “An Unexpected Landing.”
Bolts of fabric used to custom-make jumpsuits, safety gear, and parachutes fill a set of shelves at the Great Basin Smokejumpers' base loft in Boise, Idaho.
A member of the team uses an industrial sewing machine to repair parachute materials. In the winter, the smokejumpers turn the loft into a sewing factory to make all of their gear bags, suits, and harnesses.
Smokejumpers inspect the straps and surface of a RAM-AIR parachute during a weeklong training session.
At the base loft, a display shows the hardware and other components used to custom-make parachutes and jumpsuits.
A smokejumper checks his gear at the program's base loft. Almost everything he needs is attached his suit, which includes pieces adapted from motocross and hockey equipment.
Members suit up in preparation for a practice parachute jump from an airplane.
A pair of smokejumpers do a pre-flight "buddy check." After landing, the jumpsuits turn inside out to become backpacks.
Suited up and ready to go, members of the Great Basin Smokejumpers board a Twin Otter airplane as they prepare for a practice jump.
The plane transports eight smokejumpers and all of their provisions.
One of the Great Basin Smokejumpers participates in a practice parachute jump.
A pair of smokejumpers — called a “stick” — come in for a landing after a practice jump.
Published in the Winter 2021 issue