2007 List

Forest Fire Lookout Stations

Endangered List: Back To Main Page
City/County/Congressional District: Arkansas State , (District 1 District 2 District 3 District 4 )
Location Class: Commercial
Year Built: 1920s-1930s1920s-1930s
Historic Designation: National Register of Historic Places 1980-1990s
Status: Endangered

In the 1920s and 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps built numerous fire lookout towers all over the state to guard against the ravages of rampant wildfires.  Of the more than 120 documented fire lookouts in Arkansas, only about 40 remain standing.  Since visual spotting of fires from ground level went out of use with the advent of modern fire detection techniques, many of these towers have not been maintained at all in the last fifty years.  Most only remain standing because they provide an efficient means of locating modern telecommunication equipment.  The majority of these towers are steel structures with metal lookout cabs, particularly susceptible to rust and deterioration.  Two exceptions are the Bee Mountain and Tall Peak Lookouts in the Ouachita National Forest.  These two have short stone bases with wooden cabs built in a style more often found in western states.  Because of their distinctive form and construction, these two are particularly significant.  The remote locations of many of these towers make them especially susceptible to vandalism. These lookout towers are located in state and national forests and on private property, which makes saving them collectively especially difficult.

Many are individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places, making them eligible for state and federal grants and tax credits. Most are still endangered or have been demolished.