Tour – Fire Watchtower

Audio Tour:

The U.S. Forest Service Fire Lookout Tower was originally located on Slash Ridge, near the Ryan Park area in the Snowy Range Mountains. It was built in 1947 and moved to the Museum in 1987. This tower was only used for a few years because everything that could be seen from Slash Ridge could also be seen from Kennedy Peak, Blackhall Mountain, and the Medicine Bow Peak towers.  These towers were only used in times of extreme fire danger. Everything in the cabin was grounded with heavy copper rods in case of lightning strikes.  Chair legs were even incased in glass insulators.

The tower included a “fire locator” or giant compass that lookouts used to pinpoint the location of a fire.  The lookout then used telephones to call in the fire to the guard station.  Triangulation was used to pinpoint the exact location of the fire on the warden’s map.