Update at 10:08 a.m. MT, July 4, 2012:
It is apparent from some comments left on this article that we were misinformed by the Northern Rockies Type 2 Incident Management Team’s press release. While smokejumpers did jump on the Parker Peak fire on Monday, three of our readers said this did NOT make history.
(Original article, July 3, 2012)
Smokejumpers made history yesterday. For the first time ever, they jumped on a fire in South Dakota. I was taking photos in the general area and saw a jump plane overhead and heard him on the radio saying he was returning to Grand Junction, but I didn’t imagine that it had just kicked out a load of smokejumpers on the Parker Peak fire — a fire that you can easily drive to that already had several engines hard at work. I thought maybe a jump plane was substituting for an Aerial Supervision Module….or something. But, when firefighting resources are stretched thin, all help,
even especially smokejumper help, is appreciated. (Just kidding folks!)
The Parker Peak fire is burning just a couple of miles east of the White Draw fire northeast of Edgemont, South Dakota, and south of the Highway 86/18 junction. This morning, Bob Fry’s Northern Rockies Type II IMT assumed command of the fire. It is 10% contained, has burned 800 acres and has 70 personal assigned, in addition to one Type 1 crew, one Type 2 crew, five engines, and one dozer. Five structures and two outbuildings are threatened by the fire.