STEEL TOWERS FOR FIRE OBSERVATION STATIONS.
As part of the forest fire fighting equipment in the Adirondack region in New York State, steel observation towers are soon to take the place of the wooden structures used by the State Conservation Commission which has purchased ten steel towers which vary in height from forty to seventy feet according to the location of the fire observation stations and these are being erected. At the top of the tower is an enclosed cabin for the use of the observer. The system of fire observation stations maintained by the conservation department in the Adirondack and Catskill regions numbers in all about fifty. During the season when forest fires arc most prevalent a man is stationed at each one, and is charged with the sole duty of detecting forest fires and reporting them to the nearest forest ranger. Every station is connected by telephone with the nearest settlement or ranger headquarters and in nearly all cases the stations are also connected with commercial telephone systems which permit long distance service. As the summits of many of the mountains in the forest preserves are heavily wooded, it is necessary to erect towers to give the observers an unrestricted view of the surrounding country. Wooden towers have been used in the past, but it has been found necessary to provide some sort of enclosure on the top of the observation stations for the comfort of the observer. The high elevation of many of the mountains makes for rigorous weather conditions. High winds are encountered at nearly all periods of the year. Since the conservation commission requires its observers to be on duty at all times, it found it advisable to replace the old wooden towers with the more modern and sheltering contrivance of steel. Additional towers of a similar nature are to be purchased until all of the fire observations are equipped with them. There have been fewer forest fires this year than in many previous years, owing to the rains. In fact, no forest fires of importance have been reported to the Conservation Commission so far this season.