Standing Watch:
The Fire Towers of Arizona

By Eileen Moore

Eighty-one sentinels stand guard over the forests of the northern and eastern highlands of Arizona. Eighty-one fire towers buffeted by the elements as the metal struts resist rust, bolts loosen and the wooden boards begin to strain. Each fire season around 60 of these towers shelter men and women who stand watch during lightning storms, hot afternoons and the cold of early spring. Their radios crackle as lightning dances across the peaks, the lookouts reporting wisps of smoke that rise above the forest canopy.

Standing Watch: The Fire Towers of Arizona, tells the history of these towers and the fight to keep our forest green as we learned the value of the resources surrounding us. Eileen Moore takes us to each tower, listening to the lookouts as they keep vigil from early spring, through the summer, into early fall.

Each chapter describes the towers of a specific public agency, whether Forest Service, Park Service, Bureau of Land Management or Native tribe. Along with the individual towers, Eileen Moore gives us profiles of an Apache Hot Shot crew, a fire tech on the Navajo Reservation, two devastating wildfires, the life cycle of ladybugs and the close quarters of a married couple working together on a fire tower.

Standing Watch is a tribute to the fire towers and the lookouts that have helped preserve the wild places of Arizona for generations to come.

256 pages, 115 photos
ISBN 0-9672576-1-1