Skip to comments.Wisconsin Selling 100-Foot Fire Lookout Tower
Posted on 01/30/2007 4:32:44 PM PST by SJackson
PARK FALLS, Wis. - Talk about a room with a view, this cabin sits 100 feet above the forests of northern Wisconsin and it's on the auction block with a starting price of $1. But there's a catch.
The steel structure that spotters once sat atop to watch for fires has to be moved before it's put to any other use.
"It goes pretty quick. It's like taking apart a set of Tinkertoys," said full-time forest specialist and part-time tower salesman Gary Vander Wyst of the state Department of Natural Resources, when contacted Monday night.
The tower located about seven miles west of Park Falls was erected in the mid 1930s and was one of about 200 fire lookout towers once used to guard the forests of the north.
Now many have been replaced because of the use of modern techniques, including aerial surveillance during times of high fire danger, and better fire reporting by the public.
"They are still structurally sound. It's just that we don't need them any more," Vander Wyst said. "We've got more modern technology to detect fires."
Vander Wyst has sold one other tower in his four-county area. He said the one for sale now is among 17 in the area, and 14 are still used when fire danger is high. The season typically is in April and May and into the summer months.
Depending on the conditions, the spotters may stay on duty from 10 a.m. into the evening, scanning the horizon for signs of smoke. If the danger is not as high, they might only spend the afternoon hours in the tower.
The bid documents call for the tower to be removed within 90 days.
The tower most likely will be sold as scrap steel, although Vander Wyst said there have been some outlandish ideas tossed around for using the structure.
"We've had folks talking about turning it into a deer stand, and one fellow was talking about putting his mother-in-law up there," he said.
"My function in this process is to have it removed," he said. "However they do it is up to them, and whatever they do with it is their prerogative."
The appraised value of the tower has been set at $1 in bid documents.
Bids are to be opened at 11 a.m. Feb. 23 at the Park Falls Ranger Station.
Bids may be mailed to:
Gary Vander Wyst
875 4th Ave. South
Park Falls, WI 54552
A service of the Associated Press(AP)
In case anyone is interested
What about the liability if some Darwin Award Nominee kills himself (or someone else) whilst dismantling one on State or Federal Property?
heh heh! Just for Ranger Gord. :o)
Sounds like they got a lot of fire towers in Wisconsin. Further south in Indiana, I only know of 4 I think.
Man, he's HOT, isn't he? ;)
As soon as I read the thread's title aloud, my wife yelled "NO!"
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