Open house planned at the Deadline Ridge Lookout

Courtesy photo The Deadline Ridge Fire Lookout was restored to its original color by the Sublette County Historic Preservation Board and Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Smokey the Bear turns 75

An open house

for the restored Deadline Ridge Fire Lookout

is planned on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 11 a.m.

to 2 p.m.

Hosted by Sublette County Historic Preservation

Board and Bridger-Teton National

Forest, the lookout is remotely located on

Deadline Ridge in the Wyoming Range. The

trip provides a grand view and an opportunity

to see this restored iconic structure that

represents an important part of the history of

forest management.

Built in 1941 by the Civilian Conservation

Corps, this fire lookout was used into the late

1960s. It was later decommissioned once airplanes

and better communication technology

allowed for faster ways to detect and report

wildfires. As happens with so many of these

structures that are no longer in active use, the

lookout fell into disrepair and was deteriorating.

Very few of the original fire lookouts remain

on the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Members of the Sublette County Historic

Preservation Board took on the project of

bringing this lookout and its important history

back to life. Board members conducted

a “Clean It, Fix It, Paint It” project that lasted

three years. Board members repaired, rebuilt

and replaced several windows, repaired and

replaced roof shingles, and repaired the chimney

on the roof.

More dramatically, with cooperation from

archaeologists from the U.S. Forest Service to

find the original paint colors, the volunteers

repainted the lookout back to its original colors.

This included repainting the large white

“8” on the roof which identified it from the

air. Board members also worked with the

Green River Valley Museum to put in an

interpretive display about the lookout at the

museum.

The Deadline Ridge Fire Lookout is

located high in the Wyoming Range. It sits at

about 10,000 feet elevation and has an incredible

view of the Wyoming Range and Snyder

Basin area. It is about a 45-minute drive

southwest of Big Piney taking somewhat of a

maze of backcountry forest roads to get there.

High-clearance vehicles are recommended.

Parking is very limited, so for the open house,

carpooling is strongly encouraged.

During the open house visitors will have a

chance to take in the sweeping scenic view,

look at the restoration work, and sign the

lookout’s guest register. U.S. Forest Service

representatives will be on hand with educational

materials.

2019 is the 50th Anniversary of Smokey

the Bear for the Forest Service, so there will

be additional information about 50 years of

forest management and public education

about fire suppression and fire’s role in the

ecology of a healthy forest. The Sublette

County Historic Preservation Board will provide

lemonade and cookies for refreshments.

Bring a chair and your own bigger lunch and

drinks if you would like.

Accommodations are very rustic and

there are no services or conveniences at the

lookout. Also, the wind can get very strong

at times, so earlier is often better than later

to visit the site. Very young children should

be carefully supervised at this mountain top

location. Sunscreen and mosquito spray also

are recommended.

To get to the Deadline Ridge Lookout from

Big Piney, go south 3 miles and take the Calpet

Road turn off. Directions are a bit complicated

from there, so watch for the “Open

House” directional signs along the way. For

those who cannot make the open house, be

sure to visit the Green River Valley Museum

in Big Piney and see the Deadline Lookout

display in the white Conservation District

building.

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