Smokejumper by Jason A. Ramos


A rare inside look at the thrilling world of smokejumpers, the airborne firefighters who parachute into the most remote and rugged areas of the United States, confronting the growing threat of nature’s blazes.Forest and wildland fires are growing larger, more numerous, and deadlier every year — record drought conditions, decades of forestry mismanagement, and the increasing encroachment of residential housing into the wilderness have combined...

Details Smokejumper

Release DateJul 14th, 2015
PublisherWilliam Morrow
GenreNonfiction, History, Biography, Audiobook, Biography Memoir, Adventure

Reviews Smokejumper

  • Gea
    I absolutely loved this book. Smokejumper by Jason A. Ramos and Julian Smith is a whip fast, fun, and fascinating read. It is also, at times, deeply sad. As a firefighter myself, I've always been intrigued by smokejumpers--the fittest and most elite of wildland firefighters. Not only do they parachute out of planes to get to fires that no one else can reach, they hike across unbelievably rough terrain, often where no trails exist, carrying over a...
  • Pamela
    "Being a jumper takes a certain kind of personality. You have to be independent and tough, both physically and mentally. To do the job, it's not enough to survive. You have to be able to thrive in an environment that can kill you six ways before breakfast." Jason A. Ramos' memoir is remarkably fascinating, informative, entertaining, and enthralling. He and his co-author do an exceptionally splendid job of explaining, in digestible laymen terms, t...
  • Maria
    Ramos is a smokejumper. A firefighter who parachutes into the forest to fight fires. Yes, it as a dangerous as it sounds. This profession has started in 1939 and every year 500 men and women train and prepare to fight nature at her worst.Why I started this book: I'm fascinated by dangerous, yet essential professions and the people that choose to do them.Why I finished it: So I prejudged this book and profession. It turns out that there are more t...
  • Anne
    Heard of this book by a review in the Seattle Times, which I have found not always reliable... But in this case, with the local aspect -it was right on! Read it cover to cover in less than a day! Somewhat difficult to read after the Wenatchee fire, but incredible stories and brings to the forefront our firefighters and specifically the Smokejumpers - crazy fit men and women who help keep us safe! Highly recommend this book! Thanks to all who put ...
  • Tiffany Mercer
    I have such deep respect for these brave men and women. There's lots of history in this book and some scientific/technical info - none of which interests me. I just like the stories. The pictures were very interesting too. I loved reading that they rarely find animal carcasses because I always worry about the animals when I see coverage about forest fires. Lots of really interesting tid bits in this book plus some of the author's opinions and per...
  • Jenn
    This book is a fantastic read. It's fast-paced and full of adventure, but it also brings alive the history of smokejumping and tells of the pioneers who began the program in 1939. It weaves Jason's story together and current events together with the past, and gives you understanding and insight into wildland firefighting that you'll not find anywhere else. Plus, it's a darn good read for anyone who is interested in the West, climate change, wildf...
  • Carl Nelson
    3.5 stars. Parachuting into a forest fire, controlling its furious and unpredictable flames, and packing out of rugged terrain carrying well in excess of 100 pounds pretty much fulfills the definition of "badass" in anyone's book. Jason Ramos recounts his 20+ year career as a smokejumper, combining his memoirs with a concise history of firefighting and lucid discussions of the problems facing wilderness firefighters today.As with many memoirs by ...
  • SouthWestZippy
    Jason A Ramos has been in the fire service for twenty six years. He started as a volunteer at the age of seventeen then over time became a smokejumper in Winthrop Washington at the North Cascades Smokejumper Base which is the birthplace of smokejumping. Quick easy read but storytelling leaves a bit to be desired. Jumps around and had a hard time connecting story lines. I still did enjoy this book very much. Jason not only talks about himself but ...
  • Robert Davidson
    Engrossing read about a select band of very brave people who parachute into forest fires and spend days trying to put out or contain each fire. Considering this past summer in southern Alberta where we had numerous fires and heavy thick smoke for days this is a very timely book. The Authors explain the early history and training required for Smokejumpers and the many "interesting" situations they find themselves in where a mistake in a judgement ...
  • Liz
    Timely, given the massive wildfire season this year. 3.5 stars. Not very artfully written but it's a quick read that does a good job combining memoir with wildland firefighting history and recommendations for the future. Gives you a very strong appreciation for the men and women who fight wildfires -- backbreaking work under almost impossibly difficult conditions.
  • Ricky Stewart
    Jason Ramos is a man of character... His book takes readers on a facinating ride! A little bit history, a little bit legacy... a little bit personal experience but all relevant in understanding the job these risk-takers have and the incredible way they serve our nation. It would have been easier for Jason to give readers only sizzle and horn blowing accounts of his own heroics. In truth... he left many of his own stories out and focused on the he...
  • Frode
    This book was part history, part personal reflection, and a bit of commentary on smokejumping and the political aspects of trying to do a job within multiple jurisdictions who can't agree or come to a conclusion. Jason's wish is that the smokejumpers were free to do their jobs and not have to wait and often watch a fire get big that he and his fellow smokejumpers could have taken care of initially.There are some nice pictures in the book and some...
  • Anna
    Despite the obvious differences, I couldn't help but compare this to Courage Has No Color by Tanya Stone (one of my favorite teen nonfiction books -- must be the whole jumping out of planes component, something you couldn't pay me to do, even in my dreams!) and in that regard it came up short -- just failed to get under my skin in quite the same way. Don't get me wrong, its good, & makes for a fine read (would, in fact, be a pretty good recommend...
  • Mariah
    I have always had the fascination with smokejumpers. Some of it is due to the fact my grandfather was a long-time firefighter/fire chief and the other part is my mom's first cousin was a smokejumper and killed at Mann Gulch in 1949. Jason Ramos' memoir was very interesting to learn about the intensity of the training and the extreme dangers of wildfire fighting and smoke jumping. Ramos mixes wildfire fighting and history with his own experiences ...
  • Brenda
    From the very first time I read a pre-released review of this book, I have wanted to read it. The author took the time to construct a balanced story. The book was full of facts and showed the human side of Smoke-jumping. By reading this book I gained a stronger and truer respect for the men and women that choose to fight wild fires for a living. The book took this reader on an emotional roller coaster ride. This book is well worth the time it tak...
  • Deborah Chaney
    I was at a rally with Jason and fortunate to speak with him and receive an advance copy of this book to read during the four days we were there. It is a page turner - a tale of overcoming physical odds, honor, determination and compassion. I loved reading it and intend to buy a copy when it is released. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a tale of courage, modesty and history of these brave men and women who seek no glory other than to serve.
  • Karen
    A very good book that combines historical and current aspects, politics and trying to do the best job possible....under very difficult circumstances. I am from the PNW so can relate to all the places he talks about. As I write this there is another horrible fire going on near Chelan. I can picture events much better now in my mind thanks to the information from this book. What a punishing, grueling, back-breaking, scary job....Thank you one and a...
  • Don
    confidence not arrogance, Idaho1910, Japan fire balloons 300, Helena escape via burnt grass, Russia started1936 US39, Peshtigo WI 1871 worst ever then Chicago, Glenwood 7minutes, boulders bowling for hot shots, homes within risk area, need to prioritize fighters over buildings, do checklist to prevent, politics in WA2014 delayed reaction, live fully prepared to die anytime.
  • Kristin
    When I read a review for this book I knew I had to read it. This topic hits very close to home for me. I have a brother who is a hotshot, so I have great respect for these brave men and women. Romas did a great job giving a history on the Forest Service, wild land firefight, hotshots and smoke jumpers. Anyone who wonders what these men and women do should read this book.
  • David Kessler
    This book follows closely the latest technology and techniques used by today's firefighters on the ground and the smokejumpers from the air.Jason is a professional and operates out of Winthrop,WA. His true stories tell the story of just how dangerous our forests are in a increasing warm and dry climate.
  • Ryan
    The advanced reader copy was full of errors and still needed some serious editing. That said, it was an interesting look into an elite group of public safety workers. I know I could never do what they do, but I'm glad that they can.
  • hoopiefoot
    I really enjoyed the parts of the book about historic wildfires and firefighting history and also the parts about training and the actual job. I enjoyed much less the rants of frustration about the state of modern woodland firefighting, although I appreciate what he was trying to do there.
  • James R Jackson III
    Awesome, just awesome, and ordinaryIt's not just evil that can be ordinary. These people hear things that I don't. My blessings on them. Not all protectors are killers. Thanks be to God.
  • Jeanne
    As I am reading this book, the air around me is full of smoke from fires in Central Washington. The book brings the reader to the front lines of wilderness firefighting. It is a captivating story.
  • Brandon
    The book gives an idea of the Smokejumper's life and the dangers they face.
  • Diana Hernden
    Well written and engaging account of the life of a smokejumper, combining personal experience and historical events.
  • Liralen
    This was one of my I-will-go-stir-crazy-at-work-without-audiobooks picks, and a pretty satisfying one at that. I'm still fascinated by firefighting, though I can't rightly say why—I never aspired to be a firefighter (or, for that matter, to date one, though I'm perfectly happy to admit that I'm a sucker for firefighters in romance novels...and then feel shortchanged if there's no high-stakes firefighting in the book). But there's something in f...
  • Jordan Larsen
    I was lucky to find this book on Audible. After listening to it, I was very impressed with the narrator’s delivery and even more so with author Jason Ramos’ poignant and insightful writing style of throwing the reader into the dangerous, deadly and often unknown world of one of the most elite yet rarely understood firefighters. “Smokejumper” is a gripping and personal memoir of the life and struggles of a young and dedicated smokejumper,...
  • Kris
    Noting again that I read an uncorrected proof version.... I really hope the final product was more polished. This was certainly a bit of a hot mess. I'll skip that and give the editors the benefit of the doubt.The material was very interesting. There's really not a lot about Mr Ramos, which is interesting seeing as it's a memoir. It's also not very well organized. Jumping back and forth between major fire events and personal life and history of f...