The first fire lookouts in the Glacier National Park region were simply high points atop mountain peaks with unimpeded views of the surrounding terrain. Widespread fires in the 1910s and 1920s led to the construction of more permanent lookouts, first as wooden pole structures and subsequently as a variety of one- and two-story cabin designs. Cooperating lookouts in Glacier Park, the Flathead National Forest, and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation provided coverage of forests throughout Glacier National Park. Beginning in the 1950s, many of the lookouts were decommissioned and eventually destroyed. This volume tells the story of the rise and fall of the extensive fire lookout network that protected Glacier National Park during times of high fire danger, including lookouts still operating today.
Related collections and offers
About the Author
Author David R. Butler is the Texas State University System Regents’ Professor of Geography and a University Distinguished Professor at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He was a red bus “Gearjammer” in Glacier Park in 1973 and 1974 and has conducted research there since 1975. Historic photographs of fire lookouts and historical figures from the Glacier National Park area were provided by the National Park Service, US Geological Survey, US Forest Service, and other private collections.
Table of Contents
1 The Early Years 9
2 The First Wave of Present-day Glacier Park Lookouts 17
3 On Top of the World 53
4 Former Glacier Park Lookouts 71
5 Blackfeet Indian Service Lookouts 93
6 Cooperating Flathead National Forest Lookouts 105
7 Roadside Lookouts 113
8 The 21st Century and Fire in Glacier National Park 117