Access limited at staffed Forest Service fire lookout towers this season

KAMIAH, Idaho (July 29, 2020) – Several historic fire lookout towers across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests are still staffed every fire season to detect smoke from wildfires in remote locations and support the agencies’ wildfire response. In alignment with current federal, state and local guidance for social distancing and to ensure the health and safety of employees, visitors, and volunteers, the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests will restrict access at staffed fire lookout towers this summer. Members of the public are not permitted to access the top level of staffed fire lookout towers or use restrooms at these towers while these restrictions are in place.

“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, at dispatch centers, and at our offices,” 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 staffed lookouts on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests this season:

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

Visitors to National Forests and other public lands are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like the novel coronavirus, please visit  Remember to always Recreate Responsibly.

For more information about visiting the National Forest, please contact your local ranger station. Contact information for Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests offices is available online at


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