Fire Lookouts of Oregon

The first lookouts were rustic camps on mountaintops, where men and women were stationed to keep an eye out for wildfires. As the importance of fire prevention grew, a lookout construction boom resulted in hundreds of cabins and towers being built on Oregon’s high points. When aircraft and cameras became more cost-effective and efficient methods of fire detection, many old lookouts were abandoned or removed. Of the many hundreds of lookouts built in Oregon over the past 100 years, less than 175 remain, and only about half of these are still manned. however, some lookouts are being repurposed as rental cabins, and volunteers are constantly working to save endangered lookouts. This book tells the story of Oregon’s fire lookouts, from their heyday to their decline, and of the effort to save the ones that are left.

Publication date: March 28, 2016.
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Fire Lookouts of Oregon Corrections
The photo of Red Hill on page 117 is in the Umatilla National Forest, whereas the description is for a different Red Hill in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. The lookout in the photo was built in 1934 and destroyed in 1957.

Update: On page 33 the caption says that Flag Point Lookout is available to rent. As of June 2016 the Forest Service is no longer making this lookout available through the rental program. More information here.

Mount Hood National Forest

The Mount Hood National Forest is the closest national forest to Portland and encompasses the northern end of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River Gorge. Established in 1908 as the Oregon National Forest and renamed the Mount Hood National Forest in 1924, it now consists of more than a million acres. The forest is home to Oregon;s tallest mountain, as well as eight designated wilderness areas covering more than 300,000 acres. The forest is also the site of the historic Timberline Lodge and old Barlow Road, the final leg of the Oregon Trail. Thousands of visitors come to the forest every year for camping, hiking, mountain climbing, fishing, skiing, mountain biking, and other recreational pursuits.

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Mount Hood National Forest Corrections
A note about the title: The official name of the forest is Mt. Hood National Forest (using the abbreviated “Mt.” instead of the non-abbreviated “Mount” that appears in the book title). The publisher sets the title in stone seven months before going to press and I was unable to change it. I apologize for any confusion.

On page 23 the Bagby Hot Springs photo should read: “Although the station is no longer in use, it is the second oldest administrative building in the Mount Hood National Forest.” The oldest is the cabin at Olallie Meadow, which was built in 1910.

On page 33 the photo of Dorothy Lynch at Sisi Butte is mistakenly attributed to the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum. The photo actually came from the U.S. Forest Service.

The photo of an old car on a plank road on page 51 was mislabeled by the Oregon Historical Society and I didn’t catch their error until after the book had been published. The photo was not taken at Summit Meadows, but was probably taken somewhere in the Sandy area.