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fire lookout thread, gonna dump a few of my own photos.

this is an R6 cab on 40' poles
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this is an L4 cabin that was previously on 50' poles and relocated to the ground. the poles are still standing with no cab on top.
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>>2694389
sorry for the horizontal pic, these are the ghost poles from said cab
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this is another R6 on 50' poles. in great condition with propane cooker, lots of flies in this one when i rented it.
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extremely rare lookout style nowadays, this is an R6 groundhouse and one of the first ever built.
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what I do not understand is where there are so any rickety old fire towers in gorgeous scenic locations that usually have trail access to the tower, but the towers are left in disrepair, sometimes closed and fenced off, sometimes now, but usually difficult if not impossible to climb
fire towers are not that expensive to build
why the forest service does not invest at all in new towers that could be built in a matter of a week or two at scenic locations for visitors to enjoy views is beyond me
or they just dismantle them and there's only foundation
it would be SO EASY to add new towers!!!
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>>2694394
as an avid firetower fan, and hater of large forest fires, i am extremely for the rebuilding and restoration of former fire tower spots. the gov and forest service believe they can prevent fire via plane and IR, maybe at a days or two notice at best. a human staffed lookout will always provide the quickest, most accurate, and incredibly detailed report for a new forest fire.
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>>2694395
not for actually using for fighting forest fires, but so hikers can enjoy views in otherwise tree-covered areas
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>>2694396
if staffed and ran as they used to be they would prevent large acreage forest fires much better than IR or patrols.
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fire lookout types part 1
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>>2694397
ok thats great but forest fires aren't really that big a concern and that's a very expensive proposition, simply rebuilding new towers is much less expensive but for whatever reason they are mostly against that
there's one example here where they are rebuilding a new tower - but only so they can sell overnight stays at it and it probably will be gated off to others
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>>2694398
and part 2. not listed are experimental or very early designs such as crows nests or prototypes (aka gabled L4)
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>>2694399
>forest fires aren't really that big a concern
that is absolutely not true, not going to discuss this further
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R6 groundhouse and my dog
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gabled L4 on poles, rare
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R6 on 40' poles hidden in the canopy
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>>2694393
i fucked up, this is a D6 cupola
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another 50' pole R6 and my dog, this one had a winch to pull supplies up from the ground.
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abandoned and in desperate need of restoration D6 with a gabled roof aka 'Nez Perce Style'. this is a prototype of future D6 lookouts which eventually ended up with a cupola.
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>>2694411
from this style came the blueprint for the D6, this is a very freshly restored D6 cupola fire lookout cabin. no firefinder in this cabin unfortunately but the volunteer restoration job (that is ongoing as of now) has been perfect.
>>
fire lookout towers and cabins only became a reality because of the tragic and immense fires of 1910 that happened along the idaho/montana border. this fire was the catalyst for many modern day forest fire prevention techniques and modern mitigation methods like building fire lines, forest thinning (both good and bad), and the genesis of the Pulaski Axe.

https://foresthistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Silcox_1910Fires.pdf
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>>2694401
my point is more if you add on the requirement of paid staffing, you will NEVER get fire towers rebuilt here
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>>2694417
youre right, thats just typical post 1980 govt prioritizing money where it isnt needed. forest fires should be held to the same importance as any social cause nowadays, but most social causes are metropolitan based so its really hard to build support for prevention of the destruction of our beautiful green motherlands.
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>>2694397
>they would prevent large acreage forest fires much better than IR or patrols.
Have you actually done the math on this or is this armchair "common sense" magical thinking?
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>>2694419
but my point is more about rebuilding the for views
there's lots of places where there is no view from an otherwise prominent spot unless they build a decently accessible tower
there's also lots of situations with sketchy decaying towers that people still do climb but its public land and the government is aware of the situation but does nothing about it
a fire tower is not that expensive to build
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>>2694420
its just common sense, no need for magical thinking. humans with eyes and a brain will always be faster with a copper phone line than a plane that flies over once every 24 hours.
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>>2694421
>but my point is more about rebuilding the for views
youre right, its the main thing keeping these towers alive nowadays unfortunately (and fortunately on the other hand, because if just a view can prevent a historical relic that is also effective at what it was meant to do, from being destroyed, then its good)
>there's lots of places where there is no view from an otherwise prominent spot unless they build a decently accessible tower
no matter, i posted a fire tower ITT that is surrounded by canopy of trees that grew up long after the tower became useful and it is still one of the most popular to access, and can still do the job it was built to do, outside of direct fire spotting with the firefinder,
>there's also lots of situations with sketchy decaying towers that people still do climb but its public land and the government is aware of the situation but does nothing about it
this is the reason the forest service burnt and destroyed so many towers between 1955 - 1990. i respect the reason they did it (to preserve ''''''''nature how it is;'''''' and remove themselves from the liability of retards who sue over nothing. BUT, nature has already been affected, leave the towers and cabins where they were. I have been on so many hikes that end in an area where there was obviously a fire tower at one point and I wonder why destroy something folks could use to have a getaway or shelter in the name of 'nature' when the supports and beams are still there just rotting?
>a fire tower is not that expensive to build
youre right, build more
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>>2694393
this is the view inside the cupola of this lookout, the firefinder would be attached to the top of this metal pole.
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>>2694424
which political party do you suppose is more opposed to expanding forest service funding?
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>>2694399
>forest fires aren't really that big a concern
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>>2694394
>after a while, USFS realized that wildfires are actually good sometimes
>technology advances to the point where you can monitor remotely
>labor costs of a dozen people hanging out in these towers for months on end is more expensive than remote monitoring.
The juice ain't worth the squeeze.
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>>2694422
I think you severely underestimate the capabilities of infrared sensors
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>>2694489
Not always. Pennsylvania's cost comparison was a bit different.

https://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2019/05/10/with-new-lookout-towers-pennsylvania-goes-old-school-to-detect-wildfires/

>Hecker said the alternative is paying upwards of $1,000 per hour for a plane to search for fires.
>“Our towers always spot the smoke quicker,” he said. “Just a little tiny column of smoke comes up, and they’re looking at that against the blue of the horizon and they can spot that.”
>Kern said the $4-million-plus price tag for the new towers is worth it if it means catching fires early.
>“If we have one big fire, we could spend $1 million or $2 million to put it out,” he said. “If you look at it that way, you can recoup the cost of a tower pretty easily if you can prevent those fires from getting large.”
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>>2694497
Fair, but this article does acknowledge that PA sees substantially fewer fires than out west. If you're doing a simple risk assessment, its hard to justify the cost of modern techniques when a dozen watchtowers can do a good enough job.
For CA though, stakes are a lot higher so they can justify spending more money on more effective mitigations if they stand to lose 10s of millions per fire as opposed to PA's 2 million
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please stop talking about my job.
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>>2694394
Fire-spotting satellites exist and are running. The government will help pay for them too because the low orbits you need are useful for other purposes. You can also sell the data to other countries at no cost to you since the satellite is going over everyone and taking data anyway. It works out cheaper than building, maintaining and running fire towers, even with volunteer watchers.
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>>2694387
I fucking love fire towers but hate picrel style so much and its the only type close to me, AAAAHHHHHH!!!!
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Do they even still have fire watchers anymore in NA? It always seemed like a comfy job.
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>>2694756
yes, lots in california, a few in oregon/wa/idaho/montana, and not much past that
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>>2694756
>I work in one
It's a job for retired people and people at a dead end in life. You can imagine which box I check.
Ama
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>>2694497
>>2694543

Future: they just mount a camera there and AI detects the plume of smoke against the blue sky, better triangulation calculations than a yoomin and much cheaper
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>>2694394
Because then normies would go tower bagging and you could never have one to yourself.
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>>2694420
The man is passionate about watch towers okay, slightly autistic perhaps. Let the man speak his own truth and give him good grace for his servitudes to his calling.
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Thanks OP these pics kick ass :^)
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>>2694839
>Future: they just mount a camera there and AI detects the plume of smoke against the blue sky, better triangulation calculations than a yoomin and much cheaper
unironically this
t. guy who climbs towers to install cameras, antennas, radios, dishes, etc.

Both of these spin around every couple minutes and build a 360 panorama, then compare the last few pano's looking for smoke. When detected, cameras steer to that az/el and fire off an alert notification, also plotting that az on a map. If multiple cameras detect the plume, X-marks-the-spot on the map.
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>>2694826
How do you even get that job? What qualifications do they look for? How's the pay, and how long do you stay at the tower for rotations? I'm interested
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>>2696383
goto usajobs at the end of season for blm and usfs. usually like october/december. for state you need to look up government jobs offered in the state.
if the computer screening system passes you, and let me tell you, it's strict, then call every ranger station that you get passed on to to introduce yourself. most the people in these jobs are good ol boy types and are more willing to hire someone personable and ultimately reliable.
for resume on usajobs you want to fill it with as much garbage as possible. if you did anything relatable then add it to your resume. It's not like the 1 page resume private sector uses that some female supervisor will give 5 seconds to before throwing it in the bin.
I got my job off making phone calls. I consider myself very lucky for doing that all those years ago. got referred from a supervisor to a supervisor.
usually you will have better chances in bfe. my first lookout was nearly 2 hour drive from the nearest house because the roads were dogshit.
>>2696239
camera systems aren't too reliable in my experience. they call in a smoke when it is too late. satellites will be what replaces us with heat tracking.
but what cameras do is help when the lookout is useless. it's a low paying job with a lot of hours and little social life so it tends to get retards like me or retired people that are a little slow and are at a point in life that they will not take constructive feedback.
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>>2696383
outdoor experience. they also want to know that you aren't a schizo since a lot of lookouts can be unreliable. drinking and pot use is a bit higher than you think and i've heard some weird stories of lookouts kind of losing it.
heard one about a guy that started hunting and using the tower to skin his animals or something. i just don't let anyone in my tower because i'm a social retard, chose the job to be left alone, and after the first season you get tired of answering the same questions.
They will tell you you can take weekends off, but they always have a mentality that you need to fall on your sword for them. This is especially true in the forest service. BLM is best and treats it like a job.
You want to work as much OT as possible. Cumulonimbus clouds are 'money clouds' in wildland fire terms because they guarantee that they will max the fuck out of the time sheet.
I have worked 4 10 hour shifts in beginning and end of season when basically the snow is falling to 21 days on 1-2 days off. We got rid of our relief last season and they just had me working a zillion hours.
Pay really depends on season.
GS-03 is like $13-$14, GS-04 is like $15 or $16 now, and GS-05 (highest) is like $17-$18 now. It adds up when they start to give long shifts though. I've gone weeks of 10-12 hour shifts. I've ended one season with about $12,000 for 4 months and at GS-05 it is more like 25-30k because I chose a higher volume area.
I've had wolves, bears, rattle snakes, black widows, scorpions, etc in my areas. It's eerie first season, but people are really the only thing you occasionally see weird ones. You can't carry weapons on private property, but at least bring pepper spray or a dog. I use an air rifle for varmints that I can leave up in the tower. Some supervisors are more chill but if nearer civilization, expect them to suck societies cock more.
I got offered a comfy position of 7 days on 7 days off with 12 hour shifts. Probably the best you can get for a life
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>>2696383
I've trained about 2 dozen people to be lookouts and found out most of them are fucking useless. other people in fire will think you are a schizo regardless.
and on the social life, let me just emphasize you should be ready for any relationships you have with society to suffer. this isn't just common with lookouts but wildland fire in general. Lots of divorce, never seeing kids, drama, and other shit, especially during a slow season, a stressful season, or the end of the season. I've seen it in all the conditions and had biggest fires in US on district before. Usually nothing goes to plan, and government, as you can predict, is a mess of a thousand agendas and red tape everywhere. Also a lot of government workers that figure they can't lose their job unless they spout the gamer word so you have to do their job for them. The guy who was supposed to teach me my job didn't even show up and they just ended up sending me to fire school for 3 weeks where I learned 0 about being a lookout. I just figured it out my first year.
Also expect to adapt to a different quality of life.
I've not had potable water any season. Tanks always leak and I have to bring it in cubees. I've had an outhouse. Had a functioning toilet one year that broke, and have mostly had to squat, dig a hole, and bury it so practice your squats. Kind of sucks having to take a shit at a landmark where people can come in at any moment. Had peoples dogs run up to me while I was shitting before and had 5 minutes before having to run up to the tower and call in service. So just be ready to adapt and quick.
Also, most important advice here.
Rodents=kia
A lot of lookouts come in loving animals and come out hating them. Last season I killed about 50 or so. Had mice eat my wires and a rat build a nest in my engine using my shit he unburied sometimes from a long ways away. Eventually his nest caught fire in my engine bay. I started burying my shit right out of my window at night so I could hear him unbury
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>>2696412
it and then went out to start hunting him. Getting someone to tow my vehicle the first year took a long ass time and my car was in the shop in the middle of nowhere for 4 months waiting to get fixed.
watch a yt video on making a bucket trap. my guard station used steel wire and beer cans but the rats were too smart for them so i bought something off amazon that worked well. I think there is a clear plastic one that works well too.
I had another lookout had a rock chuck get stuck in their radiator grill and die. Luckily they had a friend fix it for free. Have a car you don't mind getting fucked up because fs roads tends to be washed out by rain, logging, atv's etc.
the main gist of the job is checking every 15 minutes. You will develop an instinct for when conditions are bad. Usually relative humidity is under 20%, there's warnings, lightning, etc. 90% of it is lightning, but i've had some years where there are an unusual amount of human caused. 4th of july, power line transformers blowing, car engines catching fire, atvs picking up debris and lighting it, meth houses, and occasional arson.
sometimes you will hear cool stories talking to the locals. near mine has some spooky deaths from the farm animals.
i'd do the job forever because i'm a lost hope socially anyways, but the pay isn't great, and a good amount of the visitors are fucking boomers in their adventure rv's wanting to size you up.
looking at finding something remote now and homesteading anyways for privacy instead of being at a landmark.
the only one i'd consider sticking too was ones they contract out. there's less and less contracted out because i've heard bad stories but you don't have to jump through government hoops and because of that lack of diversity training and other crap, you get paid a lot more. i had one friend that did it but he was involved in antifa or something and decided to stop talking to me. probably the only other lookout i really enjoyed talking too but it was a good area
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>>2696414
current lookout has a shitload of boomer lookouts that use the dragon plot and always give me the worst fucking crosses that their computer system gave them. They will correct me on the radio and their legal is always wrong.
some of these boomers use a faceberg group. i'm so glad i deleted that thing in 2010.
i have other lookouts that are a fucking nightmare. males and females. but it's like dating in the military and it's not like that video game. you just don't do it. i'm keeping the stories to myself though to preserve my identity but you'd be surprised that there can be drama even with lookouts.
Suffice to say I never call another lookout unless I see a smoke and need a cross.
>anyways
Make sure you bring your hobbies with you to the job too. anything you might be interested in bring it. Go to annas archive to download e books. you can use with an ereader like kobo or phone/laptop with the right app.
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>>2696418
Thanks for the post anon, i had fun reading it. Rare these days for someone to sit down and actually write something worthwhile!
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>>2696407
>>2696410
>>2696412
>>2696414
>>2696418
Fun read, ty anon.
Yeh i really wouldn't want to be at a highly trafficked landmark, possibly the least appealing part of any of that was the thought of having to keep going out to dig little holes in the ground and shit in them while people potentially walk up on you, lol.
Not being able to bring firearms to the tower would also be a big bummer.
I have no issues with leaving my current home for weeks at a time to go be alone in a tower though, dont have any kids etc, sounds great, one of my dream jobs, but im guessing i wouldnt stand much a chance at getting it, as i have no related job experience, but tonnes of autisms.
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>>2694489
I would live in them for free on the premise that I get to stay there at no cost.
This is why we can't have nice things
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>>2696443
I agree, funny read. Thanks anon
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>>2694394
I work for the forestry division in my state and our firetower is pretty rough. My boss said that the state refuses to restore the towers for some reason. Apparently there was a group from the nearby city that was trying to raise money to have ours restored and the state still wouldnt do it. It's stupid, because people are still allowed to climb them but they're just going to keep getting in worse and worse shape. Eventually someone is going to get killed and then it'll be my problem.
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>>2696457
Do they ever give actual reasons for not restoring the fire tower? I have never ever ever been to a park where there was a new, restored fire tower that wasn't in a reasonably obvious, popular place.

Other anons said it costs a lot of money to build, and I guess you could make some bullshit argument about liability if people fall off, but I highly doubt anyone has ever actually been successfully sued for that.
The whole point of fire towers is that they were fairly standardized and assembled from pre-made kits and weren't that expensive or time consuming to put up.
A lot of the ones that do exist are pretty terrifying and you could definitely design them to not be so exposed and scary but they don't do that. I really hope the next generation does things differently.
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>>2696412
Why not just squat over a trashbag to shit inside the tower? You are alone up there right? I shat in bags a couple times when I worked ski lifts and couldn't hold it to wait on relief. It stinks the room up but sounds better than what you describe
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>>2696460
>It stinks the room up
Alot.
Use a jar w/lid like a civilized person.
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>>2696459
I doubt they're not restoring them due to liability, because if that was the case they wouldnt allow people on them as they are now. I think the state just doesn't consider them important for fire prevention anymore and thus don't want to spend any money keeping them in good shape. This is in the southeast, so we're not a huge fire state. It's a shame, the towers are really neat.
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>>2696476
most of the ones I have encountered have closed signs, are fenced off, or have the bottom rung of steps removed to keep you out
there were some pretty decent fires in the SE this year between sept-oct due to drough, and in 2021 it was bad from july-sept
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>>2696477
Yeah, they had a couple of pretty bad ones here this past fall. I just meant they're not like western bad.
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>>2696457
A lot of the time, the way liability works (either in reality or in the minds of people who make decisions) is something like:
>thing is fucked up and falling apart
>no effort is made to maintain it
>someone messes around and hurts themselves
"oh well, nobody's fault, it couldn't have been helped"
>thing is fucked up and falling apart
>"well, we can send one guy through to cut back the poison oak/move the boulder out of the path/etc"
>someone messes around and hurts themselves
"why were they constructing a path and not doing maintenance on it!? this is negligence! they clearly failed to do adequate blah blah blah blah"

See also:
https://www.westword.com/news/horrific-air-force-academy-bike-crash-nets-73m-verdict-a-decade-later-11232411
In this case there was a totally random trail that the property owners didn't even make, it was just people coming through and making it, they didn't have it listed on the maps. But they had a little hole in the fence for people to get to the trail, and some dude went down it, ate shit and messed up his spine, so he sued them for seven million dollars because they didn't go through and maintain it regularly lol.
We live in a fucked world
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best thread on /out/
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This thread needs some more fire tower, so i'm just gunna post a few randos that caught me eye/.

This one looks like it could be good for zambies.
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This one sketchy.
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Comfy.
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>>2694394
> why the forest service does not invest at all in new towers that could be built in a matter of a week or two at scenic locations for visitors to enjoy views is beyond me
Depending on the type of state/government land, that particular park/department might be broke, managed by idiots, have idiots working in the park, or all off the above.
Lots of state agencies lack any sort of proper funding and meritocracy. When a politician states that he or she is “supporting our parks/public land” it means they’re probably going to move millions in funding from the already depleted budget into vanity projects so they can look good for next election season and the ignorant masses can lap up it while everyone working innawoods, at offices, parks, and other departments is fighting for leftover scrap funding like a bunch of hobos fighting over a dollar on the ground.
Park I am at right now hasn’t had it’s little lake dredged in over 30 years, dam is fucked, main road is full of potholes, the trails are all eroded and flooded, and the maintenance guys keep having their hours and budgets cut so they have to work harder with more things to do with less resources.
I can easily imagine that firefighting and lookouts/prevention will have their balls cut by bloodsuckers who want the funds, especially with modern tech as others have stated.
One park I worked at, prior management was so lazy and greedy they shut off sn entire road and section of the park. Next manager who cared had to spend so much just to make it accessible again and now there is a new scenic overlook for a massive lake installed, pollinator gardens, trails, and picnic areas.
Fuck me, I can help but rant about these cunts ruining parks and public resources.
>>
This is the most badass thread I've seen in a long time. I have lots of lookouts near me but don't visit them often enough. Always wanted to go deep into the Frank Church and explore some. Super difficult to get to without horse.
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>>2696407
>>2696410
>>2696412
>>2696414
>>2696418

You're a badass, lookout anon. I work feds doing timber. Always daydreamed about what it'd be like as a fire lookout. Don't think I could make the cut doing it. Has your lookout ever been struck by lightning? Does the insulators on the furniture actually do anything to help you in those situations? Read once about a lookout in the early 1900s blow to smithereens due to a lightning strike. Always wanted to be in one during a really bad storm, seems rad
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>>2697018
not him but i was staying in one during a really nasty storm last june, lightning got close but didnt strike. it was windy as hell and the tower was shaking like crazy but it was a blast. heres a pic of the front moving in.
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A dumb question: is there any internet or power in those towers if you don’t bring your own Starlink setup?
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>>2697061
Fair question, and idk about the remote ones, but i do know the one closest to me has a very large internet/tv/sat tower right beside it, makes me fear im frying my brains and balls when im out there.
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Rocky Mountain
T18 R12 Maine
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>>2696881
I've never seen one I person that wasn't.
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>>2696882
That actually kinda makes me want to learn masonry, it looks doable, and would seem to have enough room to live in full time.
Not sure how i'd feel about bonking my head on those support beams though.
>>
I'm working on getting my osha certificate this summer so I can volunteer at lookouts and in like 20 years, actually get paid to sit in these and enjoy the views.
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>>2696460
done that a few times, but i have to hold my trash for a few weeks at a time and i'd rather just shit in a hole than have to smell it for weeks
>>2696443
i had one do tell me about the gun thing is that its a don't ask dont tell. i never brought one to the lookout. ::wink::
if anyone sees it though youre fucked because its a gov job and your position reflects upon society
heard stories about firefighters getting in trouble for getting coffee at a bikini coffee drive through when people took photos of gov vehicle there. coffee is the lifeblood of a firefighter or thats what they always tell me
like i said, make calls. gov workers are lazy so do your part and just start cold calling if you get past computer machines
id post photos but since there is only like 400 of us left i'd probably have someone homicidal at my place in may
>>2697018
they tell you the insulation works. i've been in ones 90 feet off the ground with glass stools. you get religious when the lightning is close. i only called out of service once and ran to car (farraday cage) because the lightning coming in was lower than the lookout so I was gonna be in the clouds and most the lightning you do see is cloud to cloud so didn't want to be a snack. had a lookout at that place that was my relief and was struck because they put their hands on the window when zap time came.
i've also been in one with rubber mats. i don't know enough about electricity to know whether i'd get zapped. 99% of the job is boredom and 1% pure adrenaline. i love the adrenaline when you call in 5 a day. closest lightning was probably an eighth of a mile. The thunder starts to sound digital when it's that close. It's eerie like something out of fallout.
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>>2696459
fs/blm is constantly finding ways to budget. it's a never ending process of red tape and other bullshit. government finds excuses to waste time and money.
we had a rotten one where people would go to it during only the worst days and just stand on a vehicle than use the tower.
never enough money to even fix the roads so towers are usually least of their concerns.
i had a person threaten to call osha my first year. guessing he called the ranger station cause they fixed the stairs the next year. I redid the sealing on the leaking lead windows
>>2696460
picrel. usually piss off the side of the tower unless guests. pissing in toilet bowls isnt the same
>>2697061
most have cell. some have a work phone. mine's a bag phone running off solar. recently switched to a flip phone. i can hot spot if i want to get another 3 day ban off 4chan
usually you want verizon because att is dogshit
>>2697843
not sure where the castle one is but i wouldn't want stone near west side of us with earthquakes
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this was near my home a few years back when shit was getting bad at home and they were evacuating areas they thought antifa would be at.
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better to look at this cloud minimized but what you see is a closer up of virga. virga is rain that doesn't hit the ground, so it evaporates before touching.
usually you see a couple signs before lightning
1) dark virga
2) cloud to cloud lightning or rumbling
If you are close enough to a cumulonimbus, use a radio that produces static when you aren't connected to any radio channel. Point the antenna at the cloud and if there is cloud to cloud you can't see, you will hear a spurt in the static that it picked up as feedback. Only works so close to a cloud and usually if you hear it you don't want to be outside, under a tree, or at the cat walk of the tower.
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we had the biggest fire in the us few years back. got a picture from recon of it after just a couple hours. ironically my coworker that was closest to the fire was told to start late that day, and ended up getting stuck in traffic due to another fire.
whoops
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>so what I stare at the clouds all day
i'm not gay or nothing
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>start of my coworkers season
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>powerline.exe
this guy started a fire and it cost him his life
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>this cloud means party time
there are two types of rain clouds in my retard knowledge:
>stratus
this is what you associate with like seattle and portland. gray skies. light rain but all the time, pacific wonderland.
they are very wide clouds and not tall which creates an overcast sky
>cumulonimbus
when you see this you know shit's about to get real. picrel. These clouds start out as cumulus puffy clouds but get expanded cumulus and start to get tall. atmospheric pressure or some bullshit starts to push them up into the outer limited until they reach a level of the atmosphere they won't climb anymore. so you start to see the anvil top flatten out. i read somewhere ice crystals start to form at the top although i'm not sure how this creates lightning.
these clouds when they evolve to stage 3: cumulus>expanded cumulus (forgot real name)>cumulonimbus. you start to see the process throughout the day.
i've seen them expand really fast like within 10 to 15 minutes. you look away, and bam, the chariots are rolling in.
where i'm at we tend to see the buildup start around noon and fireworks in the afternoon. midwest and east coast gets more of theirs at night. guessing climate differences because the gulf stream petering out around that north/south line going through texas kansas dakotas and whatnot where everything west is super dry until the west coast.
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>>2698842
how old is this forest?
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>>2698846
oh, also you tend to get these flying ants a day or so before lightning. Not foolproof but they start fucking like crazy before the storm. They don't bite or anything and usually the wasps and other insects come for an easy meal. had to start using windex on them to delete their shells
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old standing poles, cab was removed and is renovated about 100yd from the original site
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>>2698847
what do you mean?
Fire is the way of life here. They burn eventually. It ain't all flicked cigarettes and global warming. debris builds up, and something's got to do it. when gov plans a prescribed burn they usually have to wait for blue moon conditions to even do one.
ideal year
nothing else going on
haines index (atmospheric pressure) has to be high but not too high. a low haines index means the smoke is hugging the ground and going into all your neighbors yards instead of straight up. people can get grumpy when they find out uncle sam is causing their asthmatic kid to fetch a single cough
>blue smoke
usually comes from campfires or a slow cooker fire. some strikes can take up to a month before they start to blow up so you can see the blue smokes doing a slow cook for weeks. a month is rare though. Usually have to have a keen eye for the blue ones though.
I usually try to be competitive because recon planes go out after their morning shit, lunch, and other bullshit around noon to start picking all the scraps the lookout chumps can't find.
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>>2698852
just asking the age. it seems like a beautiful tall forest but i cant gauge its age.
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>breakfast slop
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>>2698853
most of it is ponderosa and lodgepole. it's a nf so founded under theodore roosevelt. no one's that's carbon dated it has told me. it's not like some uk old growth forest or anything like that. we don't get a lot of rain so big burns come easy.
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this was closest lightning strike to me. had fire start on both sides of lookout, but 2 in that direction. low quality photo for obvs reasons
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>>2697055
Crazy how flimsy those things seem with wind moving around and shit, yet, they stand after some pretty gnarly storms
>>2698835
Did the lightning strike your car? Crazy how there isn't like a set standard for dealing with lightning in those towers. Lol, sometimes I miss the days of helping on fires, anymore, I can't stand the young folks joining the feds for fire. They all have a head on their shoulders and take one look at me and think I'm the newbie(im built like a dyel), only to dig and hike their asses into the dirt. Anymore, I don't try to make myself available for fire.
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>>2698991
This was my first one. 90 ft off ground, the inside of the tower was 6 ft by 6 feet but you couldn't even lay in it because the fire finder took the middle.
Built in the 1930s by the civilian conservation corps during the great depression. You could rock the thing with your thighs by leaning to your right and then left, and it did sway during thunderstorms. Kind of seemed like an epic way to go, so I got over my fear of heights pretty fast. By the end of the season I could stick myself half way out the window. There was a bunch of art on the side of the metal tower from people doing the same.
I could also shake the tower with my thighs if someone overstayed there welcome.
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>>2698991
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we'd get things we call water dogs, where after a rain, water vapor comes off pine trees and has a smoky appearance. many new lookouts end up calling in water dogs, dust kicked up from a dust devil, or even from a flock of sheep.
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pic of wall writings on side of tower
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>>2698991
lightning never struck vehicle but its the safest place. people think it is the rubber tires but it's actually the metal frame that creates a faraday cage.
i had a bunch of hunters come up during the time i called out of service. they wanted to climb the tower during the severe weather and ask the question they all ask, "seen any elk?"
had to tell them off.
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>>2694387
awesome thread OP, i never realized how much i love fire lookouts
>>2694400
i would very much like a part 3 on the experimental and prototype designs if you are ever willing
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>>2699116
>i would very much like a part 3 on the experimental and prototype designs
ill post a few i know. this one is a gabled L4 that is in serious need of restoration. ill post a similar style that has been kept up well next.
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>>2699190
not my own pic, but this is the example of a gabled L4 that has been kept in 'decent' shape. this was construction in 1929, the former pic in 1933.
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>>2699190
>>2699193
beautiful pics
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>>2699050
My ex had a guide like this (if not the exact same) in her room... damn... why today of all days
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>>2699190
>>2699193
Are the cables necessary, so they don't fall over?
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>>2699916
some of the cables are for keeping them upright and some are for grounding the building for lightning strikes.
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>>2699916
Cable is no longer necessary in the age of satellites, internet, and streaming services.
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>>2694598
Looks familiar, whereabouts?
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I've interacted with a few tower folks over the years, they are all just a little odd.
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my dad has an oregon fire lookout facebook page that he created that became way bigger than I thought it would and now its like a gathering place for everyone to give each other tips and share guidelines for the fire lookouts, funny cause he can barely plan ahead long enough to do it anymore but he had a great run. stayed at one with just him and there was so much firewood and an axe so I split logs all day and burned a fire forever
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>>2701917
im in that facebook group, funny small world



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