Images of the Silver Fire - Salmon Heli-Rappellers - Black Range of the Gila National Forest

Heli-rappelling is a fast and efficient way of getting resources to fires in remote areas. Firefighters rappel from hovering helicopters up to 250 feet above the ground. Typical fires are lightning caused, generally small in size and require 2-4 heli-rappellers to suppress. Rappellers remain on the fire until it is declared out or relieved by other fire suppression personnel or resources. At the end of the fire, rappellers will pack their gear, weighing 80-125 pounds to the nearest trailhead. Heli-rappellers are a self-contained resource with the ability to remain on a wildland fire for 36 hours without a resupply. Rappelling is only one aspect of the job. In addition to initial attack duties, the crew fills overhead line assignments, as well as performs traditional helitack duties on helibases. - via USDA