I am currently in my second last year of university. Whenever I meet with friends, family, and friends of family, it feels like all I am asked is what I’m planning to do after I’m finished with school. My honest answer? I don’t know! I wish I had a better answer, but for the most part, I have no clue what I am going to do. Sometimes I try to think of the most unrelated and unconventional jobs I could do. Sure, I could totally be a head cook in the only diner of a dead-end town, or an innkeeper up in a desolate forest; I could even just travel the country in my car and camp every day. That is until I found out about this incredible job; a fire lookout. My first thought was, “Where has this been all my life?!” since I only learned about it last year. A fire lookout is somebody who has been entrusted with looking over a designated area of land up in a fire tower. The more I read and watch videos about fire lookouts, the more convinced I am that I would totally flourish as one.
You are working in stunning locations
Although you can find fire towers all over Canada and the U.S.A., many have been disbanded and only stand as lookouts for the public to visit. The ones that are still active can be found in the Western provinces and states along the Rockies. Places like Alberta, California, Arizona, Colorado, and Montana that have varying terrain and beautiful old-growth forests. I could essentially be paid to sit up in a tower and take in all the natural beauty surrounding me. I can only imagine the awesome sunrises and sunsets you could experience, the crazy weather you’d get to watch, and the birds and other animals you’d cross paths with!
You get to live in a tower for a summer
Some of my favourite activities to do in the summer involve a change in scenery. Getting to go camping is something I look forward to all year. I also never have a bad day when I’m at my cottage. There is just something so neat about being somewhere tiny, quaint, and different, so to be in a lookout tower for an entire summer seems like heaven to me. I believe that in my past life I was a nymph because the idea of being in a little building surrounded by trees and nothingness sounds absolutely incredible.
You are completely alone
I completely understand that this would not be appealing to many, and believe me, I would miss my boyfriend and friends, but I am a person who loves to be alone. I could spend a day off reading, writing, and being by myself with my thoughts with no one to interrupt me. I’m not sure if I could see myself living like this for the rest of my life, but it would be such an incredible experience for a summer or two.
You are one part of an important bigger picture
The main objective of a fire lookout is to inform people regarding fires that have started so that they can be extinguished. So much of the world’s forests and ecosystems are destroyed by wildfires. We only have one Earth, so it seems logical to protect it and its wildlife as best as we can. Since wildfires can start at the drop of a hat in extremely remote locations, fire lookouts, if there is one, are some of the first to discover them. With how quickly fire lookouts can alert someone about a fire, it’s awesome to think how many hundreds or acres of forest have been saved by them, and what would happen if fire lookouts were no longer a thing.