MISSOULA, Mont. -

Roughly 20 smokejumpers from around the Pacific Northwest met at the Smokejumper Center in Missoula to take their first jump of the year, as part of training. The firefighters may soon deploy to states with earlier fire seasons, such as Arizona and New Mexico.

It’s a desirable role for many firefighters, as one team member explains that more than 100 applications came in for four open positions during the last hiring round. Now, the rookies will prepare for the approaching season.

Wednesday’s training session aimed to refresh the firefighters on their tactics, to ensure the team stays as safe as possible when called out to real blazes.