Smoke Jumpers Make Historic Leap - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Smoke Jumpers Make Historic Leap

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The Black Hills is living up to its name today as Parker Peak continues to smolder while firefighters rally.

"The big thing is trying to catch things in the initial attack and get them before they get big." said Information Officer Julie Molzahn.

But to get to this fire means battling steep slopes and rocky terrain. On Tuesday, fighting the Parker Peak fire became one for the history books.

"This was the first time we used smoke jumpers on the South Dakota side if the Black Hills National Forest, so it's a historic day for jumpers." said Molzahn.

Smoke Jumpers are basically firefighters with parachutes and can literally get on a hit spot quickly.

"It was a great time, I loved it." said Cindy Super, a former smoke jumper. She says the rocky conditions of these hills made jumpers necessary. Smoke Jumping is a precise operation. Planes circle the fire checking the wind and making sure the jump is as safe as possible.

"You get to the door and it's like no feeling in the world. It's loud and chaotic, your heart is pounding and as soon as you jump it's an amazing peace and quiet. Then you roll to the ground and the real work begins." said Super.

Eight smoke jumpers made the leap onto Parker Peak making a total of 70 firefighters there. They continue to work around the clock all with the same goal of getting this fire under control.

"Jumping is just like any other firefighter, you're there to put the fire out or whatever the mission is, we just get there a little different."

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