Spend time in a fire lookout without spending all summer in one

Ever dreamed of spending a summer in a fire lookout? Room and board and a million dollar view? If you love the outdoors and Idaho’s backcountry, you probably have. But getting a fire lookout job can be tough, and if you already have a full-time job, it’s even tougher.

But there’s another option besides getting hired by the Forest Service and spending a summer there. You can volunteer to man a fire lookout, as well as at backcountry guard stations for as short a stint as a few days. It’s an interesting program led by Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation.

Our friends at The Adventure Journal give a glimpse of how the program works:

“This citizen-led effort, under the name of the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation, is a non-profit organization that coordinates and mobilizes communities around protecting wilderness and wildland values. In addition to a host of other initiatives, the SBFC mans six cabins, guard stations, and lookouts with volunteer hosts. And they need help.

“The cabins, etc. are staffed by volunteers, who spend anywhere from a few days to a few months on site, from April through mid-September. Some of the lookouts are deep in the backcountry, while some are a little closer to civilization if that’s what you’re looking for.”

You can read more about how it works in a Q&A about the program here.