It takes patience, a love for the outdoors and a willingness to be alone in the wilderness for long periods of time to staff one of the hundreds of remaining decades-old wildfire lookout towers that are still crucial to stopping forest fires in the U.S. West.
Built to provide the U.S. Forest Service with an early detection network following fires in 1910 in Idaho and nearby states that merged and resulted in 87 fatalities, lookouts peaked at around 5,000 in the 1940s. About 400 lookouts remain after many were destroyed in the 1960s through 1980s and never rebuilt. Aircraft play a major role in modern day fire detection, but lookout towers are still crucial to stopping wildfires, especially in national forests of the U.S. West.
Scroll down for a look at what lookouts see in and around one of the United States' remaining towers.