Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Guest post: Palomar Mountain State Park volunteer & donation call

Friends of Palomar Letterhead


Boucher Tower
Did you know that Palomar Mountain State Park has a historic working fire lookout tower --- high atop Boucher Summit --- one of the few remaining in southern California?

Ever dreamed of "sitting on top of the world" in a fire tower, enjoying a commanding view --- from the surrounding mountains all the way to the ocean --- while watching over our precious woodlands for forest fires?
Volunteers are urgently needed to staff Boucher Tower during this coming fire season. Each volunteer would only need to commit one day per month to this valuable service.  Training sessions for new volunteers will be on April 6 and 13.  
Anyone interested can contact Curt Waite at Curt is chairman of the San Diego - Riverside Chapter of the Forest Fire Lookout Association (FFLA), the non-profit organization that oversees the tower's operation and spearheaded its restoration.
The current tower was built in 1948 (the original version was built in 1921) and was operated as a California Department of Forestry fire detection point until the mid-eighties when it was taken out of service.  Over the years it fell into disrepair until there was danger of it needing to be torn down.  An agreement was signed in November of 2011 between Cal Fire and California State Parks transferring ownership of the structure to the park.  
Palomar from Lookout
Boucher Hill lookout has now been restored to its original 1948 condition through the efforts of Cal Fire, State Parks and the Forest Fire Lookout Association (FFLA).  The FFLA has restored the interior cab (top floor) of the lookout, and will be putting the lookout back into service as a working fire detection center this fire season in partnership with Palomar Mountain State Park and the Cleveland National Forest.  (FFLA also operates High Point lookout on the east side of Palomar.)
For details about volunteering as a lookout, please contact Curt Waite at

This month we submitted a proposal to Sacramento to receive matching funds for Palomar Mountain State Park. The matching funds are to come out of a portion of the money discovered in the Department of Parks and Recreation's coffers last summer, and their intended use must meet certain criteria. Because we have a pre-existing donor agreement with State Parks to keep Palomar open, our application will entail an amendment to our original agreement.
We will notify you when we have finalized our revised agreement with State Parks. This will also allow us to establish a target for our 2013 Fund Drive, which we have postponed pending the results of this matching fund opportunity.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Rick Barclay at 951-265-6385 or email Rick directly at

Thank you!


Georg said...

Hello Smorgy,

If this tower is becoming a kind of museum, how does the fire fighters department works now to prevent an fire outbreak from spreading??


Smorg said...

Hallo Georgy!

Sorry I'm really tardy with emails and comments nowadays. Thanks very much for youtube clip the other day, too! I've been trying to upload a long cycling clip, but apparently can't do one longer than 15 minutes. :oP I guess you have to be a youtube partner or something.

Anyhow, that fire watch tower on Palomar has been out of action for a while now, I think. They've been relying on fire reports from the local residents instead. Luckily there haven't been major wild fire out that way in a few years. This year has been so dry, though, I hope enough people sign up for the watch job (I would if only I live closer. It'd take me 3 hrs bus ride and then 2 hrs of hard hill cycling to get to the place from my apartment).

I actually visited the tower when I rode my bike up Nate Harrison Grade last December (that road pops up at the top of the mountain just a few yards from the Boucher watch tower access trail). It's gorgeous! :o)

Georg said...

Hey Smorgy,

No problem for a YT clip 15 minutes' long. I'll do it three times, like in reality here. Just post it!

Make it curvy because that is good while cycling on a boring home contraption.

Looking forward to it and thanks in advance.


Limo Chicago IL said...

Well done with the post!! it was awesome!!