Video: An Ode to Desolation

An Ode to Desolation: There once was a time when firewatch towers were the first line of defense against massive forest fires breaking out in remote regions. Today, these towers—and the men and women who staffed them—have become all-but obsolete.

In fact, just 60 of the towers now remain across the U.S., with technology being used to eliminate more of them on a regular basis. This video takes us to one tower that remains in operation.

It is manned by Jim Henterly, who remains dedicated not only to his job, but to maintaining a connection with the land around him. Jim’s tower is found on the summit of Mt. Desolation in the Cascade Mountains of Washington, a place that is serene, wild, and utterly spectacular.

Kraig Becker