Fire Lookout Towers- Arizona and California

11 Oct

When I met my husband 48 years ago he was a dashing young firefighter, part of a U.S. Forest Service Helitack crew on Palomar Mountain. I was a firefighter admirer!  We just celebrated 44 years of marriage last month.  Curt has served as a volunteer Fire lookout when we are in California.  Now I have become a fire lookout fan. I recently became a volunteer forest fire lookout myself, and a member of the Forest Fire Lookout Association (FFLA).  Twice a month Curt climbs the 68-foot tower of High Point lookout and watches all day for any signs of smoke to be reported.  Soon they will add Boucher Hill Lookout (which is only thirty feet tall) and that sounds much more reasonable to me.  So we became excited when we realized Elsie had written in 1915 about visiting two fire lookout sites in Arizona.  The lookout tower on Bill Williams Mountain in Elsie’s day was actually a tree with a platform on top for the Forest Service lookout to stand on.  It was reached by a ladder made of pine poles.   The photo I have shows a lookout ranger standing on a rustic platform with binoculars.  The fire tower at the Grand Canyon, Hopi Point, was much more sophisticated.  It, and two other fire towers at the Grand Canyon, was built by the U. S. Forest service before the Grand Canyon became a National Park.  Photos of both of these towers, from the early 1900’s, are in the book.  Another picture I have included in Elsie is of her riding with a forest ranger and several other teachers.

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