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Devils Head Tower | by wffwii
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Devils Head Tower

History

The original fire lookout structure was built in 1912. It consisted of a table with a fire-finder bolted to a rock. The location was chosen because of the 360 degree panoramic view it offers of the Pike National Forest. A glass-enclosed lookout was built in 1919, the same that Helen Dowe became the first woman fire lookout ranger in the U.S. Forest Service. The tower was reconstructed in 1951 with the help of 100 men and 72 mules of the 973rd Construction Battalion from Fort Carson.

 

Devil's Head remains as the last of the eleven original Front Range lookout towers. In 1991, the fire lookout was designated on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Operation

When you reach the tower you will immediately become aware of the tremendous vantage point it offers. In fact, on clear days, mountain peaks over 100 miles away are visible. The tower's location is even more significant because of the fact that the area south and west of the tower has a very high frequency of lightning strikes. During a typical summer, we experience from 30 to 40 fires caused by lightning. From the vantage point of the tower, the fire lookout ranger is able to spot these fires very soon after they begin. This enables us to quickly dispatch fire crews to contain the fires. The tower is usually staffed mid-May through mid-September.

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Taken on August 19, 2011