I haven’t posted about a writing contest in a while, but here is one that popped up this summer that I have really enjoyed participating in. Hosted by Karen Green and Jennifer Buchet, the idea is to write a complete non-fiction or informational-fiction summer-themed story geared towards kids in 200 words or less. Piece of cake, right? If you want to enter, you better hurry! The deadline is July 25, 2020.
You can read my entry about female smokejumpers below, or read everyone’s entries at Karen’s website: https://www.karengreenwald.com/contests.
A Smokejumper’s Summer
Word Count: 193
The air began frigid but warmed rapidly as she descended through the smoke filled clouds. Lower and lower until her feet stomped into the cracked earth, her pack of tools and supplies landing close by. The heat was almost unbearable as the fire raged closer and closer, sprinkling ash on the forest floor.
But this was Tiffany’s job.
She was a smokejumper for the U.S. Forest Service.
Tiffany freed herself from her parachute and grabbed her axe. As quickly as she could, she chopped down trees to clear a wide path. She chopped and chopped until the fire roared at her from the edge of the clearing. Tiffany stood at the opposite end of the clearing, facing away from the fierce flames flickering toward her. The fire thundered and the heat seared the back of Tiffany’s neck.
Many nervous minutes later, the heat started to ebb. Tiffany snuck a peek over her shoulder and the flames were still lashing, but now smaller and less ferocious. Down, down, down the red-hot flames went, until there was nothing left but silver, shimmering, smoking ash.
A fire extinguished.
A town saved.
A job well done.
Smokejumpers are wildland firefighters who parachute into remote areas to help combat wildfires. The goal of a smokejumper is to protect surrounding communities and contain the spread of the fire. The U.S. Forest Service employs about 320 smokejumpers from late spring to early fall, but according to statistics taken in 2016, only fifteen percent of them are women. Though Tiffany is not a real person, she is based off of the many women who are serving as smokejumpers today.