Siskiyou Smokejumper Base was the first aerial fire fighter base in Oregon history and one of the original four bases established in the United States when the nation’s smokejumping program first began in the early 1940s. It is the only one of the original four bases still standing in its original location and condition and contains one of the most complete assemblages of historic smokejumper buildings in the nation including the nation’s oldest smokejumper parachute loft.
The historic Siskiyou Smokejumper Base is located at Illinois Valley Airport about four miles south of Cave Junction, Oregon. Lat/Long: 42.103651, -123.681429
Small and effective
This base provided wildfire coverage for both Oregon and California and many people who visit the base are surprised at its small size. Smokejumping was a very effective fire fighting strategy that used airplanes and parachutes to rapidly transport and deliver
firefighters to remote fires when these blazes were small and easy to control. In this way a small crew of 2-4 individuals could put out the fire before it became a large conflagration that required hundreds of firefighters and millions of dollars to control.