Over the last 25 years, photographer Mark Thiesssen has been shooting wildfires and the men who fight them, taking photos of some of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Thiesssen was at it again earlier this year when he embedded with a team of Alaskan smokejumpers, who he describes as the “Navy SEALs of the firefighting world.”
Smokejumpers in the lower 48 states usually deal with fires that are an “acre or less,” with ground crews taking over the larger fires, Thiessen says. But in Alaska, smokejumpers don’t just deal with small fires: Because of the vast nature of the Alaskan wilderness, there are no roads in certain places, leaving the Alaskan smokejumpers to parachute down to battle the fires as the first—and last—line of defense.
The training process … Read the rest