Operations is primarily responsible for the day-to-day supervision and coordination of smokejumpers and smokejumper aircraft.
Sixty-Four BLM Smokejumpers and four jump aircraft are duty stationed at the Alaska Fire Service on the US Army’s Fort Wainwright. Additional smokejumpers and jump aircraft are almost always needed to be brought up from the lower 48 to assist with Alaska fire activity. In busy years, the number of jumpers operating in Alaska can exceed 200 with up to 8 jump aircraft performing jump and/or paracargo missions.
Outstations in Galena, McGrath, Fort Yukon, Kenai, and Palmer are often staffed at times of high fire activity and jumpers can operate out of virtually any other airfield with adequate runway length and fueling capability.
The primary operational season is between May 1 and October 1 but smokejumpers have responded to wildfires in Alaska in every month except January. Typically, the Alaska fire season moderates by the end of July and Alaska Smokejumpers provide assistance to jump bases in the Western US.
Alaska Smokejumpers have assisted with responses to downed aircraft, oil spills, hurricanes, floods, and overseas fire assignments.