Hemlock Butte Lookout pic

Hemlock Butte Lookout.

KAMIAH – Several historic fire lookout towers across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests are staffed every fire season to detect smoke from wildfires in remote locations and support the agencies’ wildfire response. While COVID-19 restrictions are in place, members of the public are not permitted to access the top level of the lookouts or use restrooms at these towers.

“Individuals who live and work in our fire lookouts every season play a key role not only in detecting wildfire starts, but also in relaying information about those fires and about other area conditions to employees working in the field,” said Kevin Pfister, fire management officer on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. “It is imperative that we do everything we can to protect the health of all of our employees and volunteers, including our lookouts.”

Fire lookout towers are generally staffed from early July through early September. Access restrictions will apply to the following lookouts this season:

Bear Mountain, Beaver Ridge, Black Mountain, Chair Point, Coolwater, Corral Hill, Diablo Mountain, Gardiner, Hemlock Butte, Oregon Butte, Osier Ridge, Pilot Knob, Rocky Point, Shissler Peak, and Walde.

Visitors to National Forests and other public lands are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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