Rest in peace, Ian Pohowsky, a BLM Smokejumper

In the last seven years, five smokejumpers have taken their own lives.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “Rest in peace, Ian Pohowsky, a BLM Smokejumper”

  1. Interesting juxtaposition of articles, Bill. New life being given to P-3’s against a suicide.

    Although I think I understood one or two suicides I was on in the field (back-country), the two of fellow Rangers and friends leaves me forever baffled. It’s a small community in a desert valley in which I live (and they, lived) and a small body of Rangers (and retirees) that staff the region. The first was 4 or 5 years ago. Wife shot and killed and then him, suicide. He spared his beloved dog. The other, only months ago, a highly regarded Ranger and community member who always wore a smile when we bumped into each other.

    Suicide can be so mysterious. Heart-aching for at least some friends. If I had known the day before couldn’t we have sat down surrounded by the desert which we patrolled and talk man to man, human being to human being, friend to friend? What is spoken in the great wide-open remains in that great wide-open.

    One thing I have come to understand about some suicides is that they are just too intimate to share even with friends before the fact! And obviously, what good is any friend after the fact? Life’s a mystery. Presumably no go-arounds. Sorry to see you go, Ian. LR


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