James C. Ayers Interview, June 18, 1984


James C. Ayers


Kim Taylor



Download Audio Interview (91.0 MB)

Download Transcript of James Ayers Interview (279 KB)


James C. Ayers discusses his career as a smokejumper, which started in the 1940s and lasted until 1972. He describes his training at the Nine Mile Ranger Station in Montana, as well as what it was like to fight a fire, from jumping in to after-fire procedures. Ayers talks about his fellow smokejumpers, many of whom were former servicemen, and their off-duty activities, such as going to dances in Missoula. Ayers discusses the impact smokejumping had on the rest of his life, including a focus on physical fitness and how the beauty of the scenery inspired him to pursue art.


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Document Type

Oral History


Smokejumpers Montana Biography; Smokejumping Montana History; Nine Mile Ranger Station; Missoula, Montana; University of Montana; Stewart Peak; Bob Marshall Wilderness

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Smokejumpers 1984 Reunion Oral History Collection, OH 133, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use of this item. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 / library.archives@umontana.edu

Oral History Number

OH 133-002

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (72 min.) : analog + 1 transcript (19 p. : 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:16:46 minutes

Local Filename

OH_133_002.mp3; OH_133_002.pdf

James C. Ayers Interview, June 18, 1984
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