Welcome to the Aiton Heights Forest Fire Tower. The Information here will give you an idea of what the actual site looks like and invite you to visit this location while at Itasca Park..............

On most good weather days, there will be a on site interpreter. Dave Quam will share some of the Ation Heights Fire Tower History, along with stories of the present. Bring a lunch and stay awhile. The site has three very sturdy picnic tables and no bears to steal your sandwich.† Oh yes, there is a one half mile road walk from the parking lot up to the fire tower and Up hill. Bring two sandwiches!

 

(photo from inside a fire tower cab with the fire finder in the middle, the vertical sites are called the Alidade.)

This is a rare collection of old fire tower photos, some from 1920 's post cards. Each has it's own story and during the presentation a select few will be told. How the fire tower worked using a fire finder and fire map to locate fires will be demonstrated. The kids will have a chance to work both. Come joins us to learn of towers of the past / present and enjoy the view over Itasca Park.....

For those who do not want to climb, there is a "crows nest" cab on the ground. This cab is the same as the one on the top of the tower with an addition of interruptive signs.

There is a limit to five people at one time on the tower. This year, 2005, while you are waiting to climb, there will be a part time interpreter on the ground. The history of the tower and a explanation of how the "Fire Finder" works will be given, along with a visual display.

††† VIEWS FROM AND AROUND THE AITON FIRE TOWER

When the tower was in operation during the 50's and 60's, a fire finder was placed in the middle of the "Crows Nest". It was used to find a compass heading to the smoke. The pointing device that sits on top of the round map table is called a "Aladade". The spotter would aim his aladade at the smoke and read the compass degrees off the map edge, then call this information in by radio. The same action would take place at another tower with in sight of the same smoke. When you had two degrees reading you would cross the lines on a wall map to find the location of the fire.

This is the old spotters cabin that was at the tower site. The cabin was moved and now sits by the boat launch on lake Itasca.

 †† THE HISTORY OF THE AITON FIRE TOWER

By Ben Thoma, Park Naturalist. Itasca State Park. 1987

†††††††††† History of the Aiton Heights Fire/Observation Tower and Cabin in Itasca State Park, Minnesota

Forestry patch that was used in the 1950ís.

This site is sponsored by the Minnesota Chapter of the Forest Fire Lookout association.† (FFLA)

 

FFLA WEB SITE

 

 

 

MINNESOTA FIRE TOWERS

 

 

WEBMASTER

DAVID QUAM

 

 

AITON HEIGHTS FIRE TOWER

ITASCA PARK

No updates as of† 9-11-14

Dave