Recreation options abound at lookout
Hikers and snowmobilers will soon be able to journey into the past.
Restoration of the Mara Mountain forest fire lookout, near Kingfisher, is currently underway.
“We want it to be a really neat destination,” said John Glastie, with Recreation Sites and Trails B.C., a branch of the Ministry of Forests.
The original 1922 foundation remains and coal boxes are still visible.
The rest of the structure dates back to 1950.
“It was starting to fall into disrepair,” said Glastie, adding that the lookout was decommissioned for fire surveillance in 1994.
Once restoration is completed in mid-October, the facility will be jointly managed by Recreation Sites and Trails and the Kingfisher Historical Society.
It’s anticipated the lookout will be popular with recreational enthusiasts including hikers and snowmobilers.
“It’s really beautiful there. You can walk for miles in a sub-alpine environment,” said Glastie.
A woodstove will be installed in the structure.
“It will be a shelter if people get up there and the weather turns on them,” said Glastie.
Forest fire lookouts played a role in the early detection of wildfires until they were replaced by new technology, improved public reporting and aerial detection.
Recreation Sites and Trails B.C is currently looking at other lookouts that could be restored.
“It’s a great time because we’re aggressively moving ahead to save these structures,” said Glastie, a former assistant ranger.