Fire Tower Training

Last fall we visited out first Fire Tower. We spent some time talking to the couple working the tower and decided we wanted to do the same thing this year. So, we have been going to training and have one more day of training left. The training has taken place in Idyllwild up in the mountains so here are some photos taken on our trips up there. There are 7 fire towers open now in the national forest. We hope to visit more of them in the coming years.
Of course the views from the actual fire towers will be more spectacular as they are built where they have the best views. The tower we will most likely work in is at Strawberry Peak. We will actually be employees of the Forest Service and our pay will be a nice round number. $0 
We had a very active fire season last year and it is shaping up to be another year of very active fires. While here at the house have had normal rainfall and in fact even had some last night in the San Bernardino Mountains they are down for the year. In the photo directly below you can see some brown trees. The last 4 years have been the worst drought on record in the mountains. The trees get stressed from lack of water and are more susceptible to bark beetles. There is no easy way to tell from a distance is these are brown due to the drought or from the beetles.
This totem pole is in Idyllwild. When you get up in the mountains the sky is a deeper, darker blue and the air is cleaner. Idyllwild is one of the larger mountain towns and we had not visited it since 2001. We are looking forward to working the tower. The one we want to work in is one of the most heavily visited towers so on weekends not only will we be watching for fire but greeting many guests. We will work one 8 hour shift a month at a minimum.

Look for actual pictures from the tower later in the summer. And I'm sure there will be pictures of fires.