Vandalism closes Lookout Mountain tower

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PRIEST LAKE — The Lookout Mountain Lookout Tower, which sits just east of Upper Priest Lake, was damaged by vandals resulting in the tower being closed to the public for the summer.

Sometime within the past two weeks, the tower was vandalized and many items that the lookout uses to find and report fires were taken. Due to its remote setting, preparation of the upcoming fire season at Priest Lake and local fire resources being committed to fires in other states, the Priest Lake FPD has decided to close the tower for public safety concerns. The District will continue to assess the damage to determine if and when the tower becomes usable again.

The Priest Lake Fire Protection District is home to the only two remaining lookouts operated by the Idaho Department of Lands. The Priest Lake Fire Protection District does not have a budget for the lookouts and has relied on volunteers to help maintain and staff the towers. Lookout Mountain Lookout is used primarily to spot wildfires on private, state and federal lands. Located at 6,800 feet the lookout is able to spot fires well beyond the Priest Lake drainage and often assists with radio transmissions during backcountry emergencies.

Anyone with information regarding the vandalism of the Lookout Mountain Lookout is asked to contact Dan Brown at IDL, Priest Lake Fire Protection District, 208-443-2516 or dbrown@idl.idaho.gov.

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