What is Life Like in a Fire Lookout?

Archive photo of Mt. Brown

While researching fire lookouts for Flight to Forever, I talked with folks who’d actually lived in lookouts on isolated mountain peaks.

What’s it like to wake up and find a curious mountain goat staring in your window?

How do you get food, water, and supplies when you’re on top of mountain?

What happens when lightning strikes a lookout tower?

As always, I discover more fascinating research tidbits than can fit in the story. I don’t want to waste them, so I recycle them into articles. Here are two recent ones published in Montana Senior News and on pages 38-39 in 406 Woman magazine.

Photo credit: Kjell Petersen

This is the MSN cover photo of an Osborne Firefinder taken by Kjell Petersen.




Flight to Forever was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award.

When pandemic regulations prevent a Vietnam veteran from visiting his beloved wife in a memory care lockdown, he busts her out, assaulting two employees who try to stop him. The couple flees to a remote fire lookout on Forever Mountain in Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Their daughter begs for help from her best friend, investigator Tawny Lindholm and her defense attorney husband, Tillman Rosenbaum. They’re in a race to find the aging outlaws before the cops do because the vet won’t go down without a fight.

Flight to Forever is available in ebook and paperback. Or ask your favorite independent bookstore to order for you.

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4 Responses to What is Life Like in a Fire Lookout?

  1. Steve Hooley says:

    Great newsletter and blog, Debbie!

    I’ve read Flight to Forever and loved it. Many gripping scenes, like when Tawny almost slides down the side of the mountain.

    For any of you who have not read the book, YOU MUST!

  2. Janet S Smith says:

    What an engaging introduction! I love that it’s set in Montana, where exciting things happen! I’m drawn to the story because it involves aging characters, something I can relate to. Your story sounds totally engaging and action packed, full of adventure and thrills. Great intro!

    • Debbie Burke says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Janet! Learning about fire lookouts was fascinating. One of my resources had been in a tower when it was struck by lightning three times in one afternoon. He called the experience a “See God moment.” Of course, I had to work that into the novel!

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