Pints from the Past: Oregon's Fire Lookouts

Tuesday, September 12, 2023 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Cheryl Hill, author of Fire Lookouts of Oregon, will talk about the history and background of Oregon’s fire lookouts. The first lookouts were rustic camps on mountaintops, where men and women were stationed to keep an eye out for wildfires. As the importance of fire prevention grew, a lookout construction boom resulted in hundreds of cabins and towers being built on Oregon’s high points. When aircraft and cameras became more cost-effective and efficient methods of fire detection, many old lookouts were abandoned or removed. Of the many hundreds of lookouts built in Oregon over the past century, less than 160 remain, and only about half of these are still staffed. However, some lookouts are being repurposed as rental cabins, and volunteers are constantly working to save endangered lookouts. Cheryl will tell the story of Oregon’s fire lookouts, from their heyday to their decline, and of the effort to save the ones that are left.

Oregonian Cheryl Hill is a photographer, hiker, lookout enthusiast, and lifelong history buff. She works as a librarian in a public library and in her free time she enjoys volunteering, hiking, backpacking, camping, and working towards her goal of visiting every standing lookout in Oregon. She is the author of Arcadia Publishing’s Mount Hood National Forest (2014) and Fire Lookouts of Oregon (2016). Cheryl lives in the Portland area with her husband and two cats. 

This program is offered by the Lake Oswego Public Library in cooperation with the Lake Theater & Café. Admission is free and no ticket is required (though food and drink purchase is encouraged to offset the cost to the Lake Theater). Doors open at 6:30, the presentation begins at 7:00. The Lake Theater & Café is located at 106 North State Street in Lake Oswego. For more information, contact Carissa Barrett at sends e-mail) or 503-534-4237.