All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Maine's Fire Towers Still in Use

Though Maine's fire tower program was defunded in 1991, volunteers still man and maintain the towers in some locations—on Ossipee Mountain in Waterboro, Mount Hope in Sanford, and Mount Agamenticus in York, where Brian Starkey and his kids have been spotting fires for years.
Luke Starkey said his 15-year-old sister, Stephanie, is volunteering this year.

"We have four guys, including my sister, all here in training," he said. "If we have an active season, the new guys will spend a lot of time with us ... There's a lot to learn," he said. "You've got to know where you're looking, how to gauge distance, and learn to use triangulation."

He added, "We use triangulation with a second tower, and where lines cross is the site of the fire." [Link]
Fire towers—whether manned or unmanned—are popular destinations for hikers. See David Hilton's Forest Fire Lookouts of Maine for a lengthy list and lots of great photographs.
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