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Model Railroading > HO scale fire tower

Date: 07/04/19 12:40
HO scale fire tower
Author: jdw3460

The Blissfield Model Railroad Club in Blissfield, MI had been looking for an HO scale model or kit of a fire tower like those  that could be seen on the tops of mountains for years with rangers watching for forest fires.  We could not find one so we went to aa3dmodels.com for our second structure built with 3D printing.  It fits right in with our mountain scenery and we plan to have more copies printed.

Date: 07/04/19 13:41
Re: HO scale fire tower
Author: CPRR

If I where you, I would start selling those for modellers who model mountain scenes. 

Date: 07/04/19 14:48
Re: HO scale fire tower
Author: KA7008

A better description is "fire lookout".  Check this out too:


Date: 07/04/19 20:27
Re: HO scale fire tower
Author: MojaveBill

When I was a county fire dispatcher in San Jose in the early '60s my wife and I visited one of those, which was much bigger. Interesting
experienc and some great stories from the gal who operated it, especially about working during electrical storms!

Bill Deaver
Mojave, CA

Date: 07/06/19 08:21
Re: HO scale fire tower
Author: sixbit

I spent some time working with US Forest Service and knew some of the Lookout tower personnel and visited their lookouts from time to time. Some were very elaborate and included a structure (or travel trailer in one case) below the tower where the assigned personnel lived. Most of the towers had no on-site water source but it was trucked in and filled a tank. Most towers also had generator power, propane stoves, and either chemical or "vault" toilets. The most interesting time I experienced was when we had a violent storm coming into the Sierra's and were dispatched out to a tower. Our unit was assigned to stay at the tower unti dispatched to the lighting strikes by the dispatcher.

That tower had 360 degree views with a cot and a number of chairs and stools and a small desk as well as the spotting device (a large compass with a sight). All the furniture had glass "balls" on their feet to insulate anyone on those should the tower be hit by lightening (yes, that would happen).

I was in the tower watching the storm approach with winds of 65 mph and lightening following the leading edge of the storm. The tower was swaying pretty good in the wind and we were all perched on our insulated furniture while the wind howled and the lightening began striking closer and closer. The closest strike we had to the tower was about 100 yards down slope but it shook the whole tower. Lightening strikes up close don't "boom" they "crack"!

We were there most of the night until dispatched. There were so many strikes it took us days to find and extinguish them all.

Before drones and satellite imagery those towers were the "eyes" of the wildfire suppression force.

John Mills

Date: 07/06/19 14:37
Re: HO scale fire tower
Author: jdw3460

Thanks, John, for your very informative comments on fire look-out towers.  I can't imagine the terror one would experience in a lightning storm up there.  The tower we modeled was one in the Catskill Mountains in New York.  I notice that some of the ones in the Sierra in California were much bigger.  Some of the Catskill towers even had guylines to help keep them upright,

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