Jumping Fire: A Smokej...
Murry A. Taylor
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Jumping Fire: A Smokejumper's Memoir of Fighting Wildfire

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  127 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Written with a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Jumping Fire recounts Taylor's three decades parachuting out of planes and fighting fires in the vast, rugged wilderness of the West, told within the framework of one thrilling season. Includes a new Afterword on the fires of summer 2000.
Published June 1st 2001 by Turtleback Books (first published June 5th 2000)
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Taylor began smokejumping in 1965 and, near age fifty, finally quit after the summer of 2000, the worst fire season in half a century. Smokejumpers are a bizarre breed who have to pass an extremely rigorous physical fitness test each year — one thing they have to do is run 3 miles in 22 minutes and Marines say smokejumpers training is harder than boot camp — before being allowed back into training. (Interestingly, one of them, Trooper, paid his own way to China in an attempt to convince the Chin...more
The oldest active smokejumper in history tells all, or at least what he went through during one hard season of parachuting into the Alaska wilderness to fight fires. Taylor gives a blow-by-blow account of the smokejumper’s life, from early training to equipment checks to freefall to digging soil lines at the foot of raging fires to the boredom and loneliness. Along the way he manages to tell of his sexual exploits with two pretty girls and pack in several anecdotes of jumping, some funny, some t...more
Brad H
I read this book and was truely amazed!
We read about stories of wild fires and we hear about them on the news. But, we really have no concept of what it takes and what these brave men and women do.

Here is a riveting and humerous, tragic and exilerating (sic) true and 1st hand account of their lives, work, tragedy and love of the fight.

Mr. Taylor became the oldest and one of the best fire jumpers in history. Litterally being forced to a desk job after all of the cartilage had been destroyed in hi...more
Patrick Ross
Having lived in Alaska for a few years and seeing men like these work, you can only have the upmost respect for them.

Having been a paratrooper in military, I was talking a smoke jumper who made the comment that he could not do what I did, jump out of an airplane into a firefight. I responded with I'll take bullets over a wildfire any day of the week.
It was okay.

The book definetly conveys the dangers of smoke jumping and the unique people who are able to do this.

I would have preferred to have learned more about how smoke jumping developed and how exactly smoke jumping is used to control forest fires. Taylor never really explains how smoke jumping works, what is the strategy.

The first 200 pages of the book are really good. After that, the book becomes a little repetative and would have been helped by editing.

Also, there is too much about...more
Ryan McArthur
Damn, this is a great book. It starts of detailing how they parachute in (so much so, I was wondering if he would actually fight fires!) and then gets into the nitty gritty. Its a great read, set out in a diary format, so you get a real sense of time.
Taylor tells pretty much everything about jumping, the excitement, the injuries, training, hazards (including bears and retardant drops) and the impact it has on his personal relationships and love life. Its a tough job, and it really made me want...more
it was pretty interesting to see what these firefighters do through the summers. lots of crazy stories about jumping into forest fires, putting out the fires 24 hours a day, and other near-death experiences.
i got tired of the author's perspective...he knows he's too old to be doing this (and has never really had a lasting relationship with anyone), yet he continues to be on call to fight fires each year. maybe it's just me, but he really should get over it.
Great action book on the life of a smoke jumper. Filled with reget of the relationships lost to pursue the adrenalin and outdoor life of smoke jumping. The author spent almost 30 years in this role - longer than anyone else. This meant he had to run 3 miles under 22 minutes to pass physical requirements every spring.
He really captured the camaraderie between those who dedicate their life to fighting fire, the long and tiresome days and nights spent digging line and how quickly things can go wrong. The personal life bits were a bit repetitive and woe is me like but overall it was an interesting read.
Interesting mostly to get a sense of what it is like to be a forest fire fighter. Each year the news is filled with headlines of hundreds of these folks going to this or that fire. This book puts a bit of the human side of the folks who take great risks to fight these fires.
Very good read about smokejumping forest fires in Alaska and Idaho in 1991. Narrative of the scenic areas and wildlife were exceptional and descriptions of firefighting tactics and procedures were easy to follow. That was the best part of this book.
An interesting look at the life of a smoke jumper. The author basically detailed a season of firefighting. It was interesting, but at times, a little repetitive. Worth reading if its a topic you're interested in.
Good story telling. Accurate from a firefighter's perspective. Another book to glamorize smokejumpers.Yeah! I did really like it, though. It was not just a bog yeah me, I am so cool book.
An easy interesting read, I enjoyed it very much. Enjoyable stories and anxiety producing situation and heart break as well as love and courage.
The bits about smokejumping were simply breathtaking.
The bits were he moans about his personal life got a bit tiresome
after a while.
Phoenix Bailey
Tales of a fire bum. This book is the reason I got into this crazy business.
Hugh Carson
The way it was. No shine, no bullshit. Thanks, Murry!!
A wonderful book on smokejumpers!
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