Earlier this month, about 200 firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service attended an all-forest preparedness event at the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest. According to information officer Jeanette Dreadfulwater, the crews worked on a number of practice stations, emphasizing equipment and firefighter review, engines, pumping, aviation and helitack, mobile attack, medical extraction and emergencies.

The Grangeville Smokejumpers, operating out of the Grangeville, Idaho, Air Center, hosted their annual refresher with 40 jumpers from Missoula, McCall and West Yellowstone. Dreadfulwater said the smokejumpers have been transitioning from the old-style round parachutes to the more maneuverable Ram-air chutes (see photo). The refresher course is particularly important this year, with the latest predictions for another hot late summer with dry conditions - elements for a busy fire season.