Deadline Ridge Fire Lookout

Board member Dave Vlcek was instrumental in effecting the rehabilitation of the historic Deadline Ridge Fire Lookout on Forest Service land in Sublette county. Interpretation will include limited information at the site and extended information at the Green River Valley Museum in Big Piney, Wy. This project is in conjunction with the Sublette County Historic Preservation Commission.

The Deadline Ridge Fire Lookout was built around 1940 and was used until the 1960s or 1970s when all the fire lookout towers in the Bridger-Teton National Forest were abandoned. This particular tower is one of only few that still remain today, and the preservation of the structure is a terrific example of how historic preservation projects can save unique endangered structures. The Deadline Ridge Fire Lookout tower is not just a cool old building. It also stands as a relic of an approach to a long tradition forest management in the United States begun by Gifford Pinchot in the early twentieth century that was intent on suppressing forest fires in national forests to maintain timber supplies for the nation’s infrastructure. Though little is known about this specific tower, one can only imagine the types of thoughts that must have occupied a lookout’s mind as they sat stranded, completely alone at 10,000 feet, watching for orange glows on the horizon.


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