Linda Lookout

Book Information of Linda Lookout.

A book for those who cherish the history and memory of Fire Lookouts in America was first published in 1965, written and illustrated by the author, while living and working 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a 14 x 14 foot fire lookout forty feet high atop a mountain peak in the Olympic Peninsula. This 50th Anniversary Edition is supplemented by vintage lookout cartoons and memorabilia. The lookouts were reached by a ladder with sturdy railing and wide rungs, and descending tower-sitters were to come down backward for safety. There was a lookout lingo to learn of the basic codes to report location and fires by radio. The radio was also a valuable companion keeping these isolated fire watchers in contact with each other and the outside world. Their mail, supplies and water were packed up on a mule. A lookout was allowed to bring a pet for companionship, but many also made friends, even pets, with the nearby wildlife. On these high mountain peaks the most terrifying, to even the most seasoned fire-spotter, were the horrendous summer thunder and lightning storms. The towers were equipped with lightning stools, and insulators on the bed feet, still the ear splitting kaboom made one fear for life.

About the Author: Since the age of eighteen, summer has meant only one thing to Keith Hoofnagle, a chance to pack up his paints and brushes and head for a fire lookout upon a peak where he could watch for fires, commune with nature, and paint to his heart’s content. His first summers were spent on the Olympic Peninsula, and later a smoke spotter in Yellowstone National Park. Memories of mountaintop vigils over eleven summers on fire lookouts have always been pivotal in Keith’s life. He had a stint designing for American Greetings in Cleveland, Ohio, but eventually had a career in the National Park Service. He currently resides at his small farm in Skamokawa, Washington.