This plane is the same tanker, retrofitted with pontoons. An $800,000 add-on (with additional equipment, larger engine, etc.) This tanker can land on a lake, scoop water into the tank on the run, and take off again in one fluid motion. Filling the tank in the water takes a whopping 15 seconds! Also amazing!
The display above shows what would be packaged in one of the cartons. The contents would support two firefighters. The carton would be parachuted into the area. Notice that straps are attached to the carton so the smokejumpers can carry it like a backpack. Below, Michael points to another set of cartons containing chainsaws and fuel. Other cartons containing water for drinking and putting out spot fires, as well as other materials are also parachuted into the area.
Michael seemed to think that the worst part of smokejumper duty is lugging all of the boxes and equipment, parachutes and what-have-you, to the pickup point after the fire is extinguished. Remember, there are often no roads and many of the areas the smokejumpers parachute into are in mountainous areas.
This is the plane that transports the smokejumpers to the fire. It sits, at the ready, just outside the facility.
Next to the tower is the sewing room. This is where small holes or tears in the parachutes are repaired. There are a number of heavy-duty sewing machines that are used for repairs, as well as for making packs and other bags.