Ohio's Forest Fire Towers
The ODNR Division of Forestry has joined with the Ohio Chapter of the Forest Fire Lookout Association (FFLA) to restore and promote the remaining eight state-owned fire towers still standing.
Joining Ohio FFLA
To become a member of the Ohio Forest Fire Lookout Association, go to http://www.firelookout.org/ and navigate to “Joining FFLA”. Be sure to specify Ohio as the chapter that you wish to join. If you have questions, contact Steve W. Klan
Collectable Patches Issued
The Ohio FFLA chapter has issued Smokey Bear/Fire tower collectable patches for Scioto Trail State Forest, Tar Hollow State Forest, and Mohican-Memorial State Forest. Each patch has the Smokey Bear image and the name of the respective tower and the forest that it stands in. To purchase collectable fire tower patches, contact Steve W. Klan.
In addition to selling the patches to raise funds, donations are also encouraged from private sources such as individuals or corporate sponsors who are interested in saving these historical treasures. All donations are tax deductible, as the Ohio FFLA is a not for profit organization (501c3).
Ohio Fire Lookout Tower Facts
- First fire tower was built in 1924, Copperhead Tower, Shawnee State Forest. This tower was recently renovated with help from the Ohio Woodlands Job Corps.
- Tallest towers were 100 feet, three were built, and two remain standing, at Blue Rock and Sugar Grove.
- Total number of fire towers once standing = 40.
- Number of towers that remain on state owned property = 8.
- Total number of towers still remaining in the state = 20.
- Two towers remain on the Wayne National Forest, one having been relocated next to the US Forest Service Headquarters on US 33 near Nelsonville.
- Most towers, when closed in the late 1970’s, were dismantled and sold for scrap metal. Those that were on leased lands reverted to the property owners.