If you want to get involved in volunteering in your local National Forest AND have a bug for Living History, you may want to check out the Angeles National Forest Fire Lookout Association.
The organization is currently looking for volunteers for the summer to man the Vetter Mountain and Slide Mountain Lookouts. Volunteers will be expected not only to gaze lovingly at their beautiful surroundings to look for signs of fire, but also be aware of current fire conditions, as well as offer services as a historical interpreter for the fire lookout system.
Sounds pretty awesome, if you ask me.
Orientation classes start this Sunday, and continue through May. The press release is as follows:
ARCADIA, Calif. – The Angeles National Forest Fire Lookout Association is currently seeking individuals for its volunteer Fire Lookout Program. The group works to restore, maintain and staff historic fire lookout towers in the San Gabriel Mountains. Volunteers interpret the natural and cultural history of fire lookouts and the surrounding Forest lands for visitors and help disseminate information on current fire conditions.
Volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years old and attend an orientation session plus training in the areas of Natural History, Interpretation and Fire Lookout Operations. These classroom sessions will be held at the Flintridge Foundation, 236 W. Mountain, Pasadena, CA, on the following dates:
Orientation— May 3, 10:00am-12:00pm (Rm. 117) or May 5, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Natural History & Interpretation— May 3, 1:00-4:00pm (Rm.117) or May 13,
Lookout Operations— May 9, 9:00am-4:00pm (Rm.118) or May 16, 9:00am-4:00pm
Upon completion of the classroom sessions, new recruits will be required to work a shift in a tower under the supervision of trained lookout instructors. For more information, contact Pam Morey at (909) 382-2732. For more detailed directions to the Flintridge Foundation, please visit www.flintridgefoundation.org.
Fire lookout towers, one of the primary means by which forest fires were reported in the early 1900s, were closed on the Angeles National Forest in the 1980s. However, Vetter Mountain Lookout, off Highway 2, was reopened by the U.S. Forest Service and Fire Lookout Association in 1998, as part of a historical preservation project. Slide Mountain Lookout, located above Pyramid Lake off Interstate 5, was reopened in 2003.
Despite newer technologies being used by the U.S. Forest Service to detect fires, volunteers at these lookouts continue to practice vigilance and provide a valuable contribution to the conservation of National Forest lands.
The Angeles National Forest Fire Lookout Association is a non-profit, 501c (3) corporation that operates in partnership with the Angeles National Forest. For more information, visit the Angeles National Forest Fire Lookout Association website at www.anffla.org.