Volunteers needed at historic Deadman Lookout Tower

The U.S. Forest Service is looking for people who enjoy great views and are not afraid of heights to volunteer as visitor information hosts and amateur fire spotters at the only fire tower remaining on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District in the Roosevelt National Forest.

During the extreme fire conditions of 2012, Deadman Lookout was used by professional firefighters, along with lookout volunteers, as an active fire lookout for the first time in decades. In 2013, a record 41 volunteers worked at the tower and provided an increased number of weekdays open for visitors.

The historic Deadman Lookout, last officially staffed in the 1970s, is located 15 miles west of Red Feather Lakes at an elevation of 10,700 feet. The lookout is typically snowed in until July. It is then that dedicated volunteers keep the lookout open for scores of stair-climbing visitors through Labor Day.

Climbing to the top of the 1961 lookout is like stepping back in time. Original furniture and equipment are still usable and in place. Volunteers share fire lookout history with visitors, along with providing information on area recreation such as camping, fishing and scenic driving. Volunteers also work as amateur fire spotters for the district.

Hosts volunteer a minimum of two days per season. The lookout is open Friday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and other days as volunteer hosts are available. Hosts need to be in good health, enjoy working with people, and have transportation to and from the lookout.

Evening classroom training on June 24 in Fort Collins is required. New volunteers will also spend a training day with a mentor-volunteer at the lookout. While several weekend days are still available to volunteer, most of the available days to host at the lookout are during the week.

If interested in registering for training or for additional information, please contact Kristy Wumkes at 970-295-6721 or kwumkes@fs.fed.us.

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