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October 2019 Sunset at the Miami Lookout. Photo by T. Gorham

Miami Mountain Fire Lookout Needs YOU!

SIERRA NATIONAL FORESTThe Sierra National Forest, in conjunction with the Miami Lookout Group, is soliciting for volunteers to staff the Miami Mountain Fire Lookout for the remainder of the 2022 fire season.

The opening of the lookout for the 2022 season was delayed 2 months due to damage to the building caused by severe wind storms in 2020 and 2021 which necessitated replacing the roof and the lightning protection system. Due to the lack of an operating lightning protection system, the lookout did not open in 2021. Miami opened in mid-July this year, 2022, and the Lookout Group is now soliciting adults in Eastern Madera and Mariposa Counties who would like to be trained as a fire lookout.

The minimum qualifications are 18 years old with a valid driver’s license; ability to climb stairs approximately 50 feet high; 20/20 vision or eyesight corrected to 20/20; a vehicle capable of traversing an unpaved one-lane mountainous road; completion of at least 16 hours of training before staffing alone.

If you meet these criteria and are interested in staffing Miami, please attend a meeting to be held on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022, @ 9:00 am at the Bass Lake Ranger District Headquarters, 57003 Road 225, North Fork. An introductory training session will be held and preliminary paperwork completed during the meeting. Anyone interested should send an email to miamilookout2@gmail.com, with their name and contact information.

Miami Fire Lookout 2022

Miami Fire Lookout 1945

Miami Mountain Lookout was originally constructed and put into service by the Forest Service in 1934. The tower is a 20-foot steel non-battered tower located on the Mariposa, Madera County line one mile west of California State Highway 49 at an elevation of 4,327 feet. There is room to park a vehicle safely during fire season just in from the Highway 49 access road. It is then a two-and-a-half-mile hike up to the tower, bearing left uphill at the “Y” in the road.

Miami Lookout is staffed during the declared fire season which begins about May 15th of each year. The season will continue until October or November when one inch of precipitation has occurred and the declared fire season ends.
Miami Lookout directly overlooks the towns of Nipinnawasee, Ahwahnee, Bailey Flats, Raymond, Coarsegold, and Oakhurst in Madera County, and Ponderosa Basin, Usona, Bootjack, Lush Meadows, Mariposa, and Oakgrove in Mariposa County.

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