Located 7 miles north of downtown Spokane, 3 blocks north of the "Y" junction of Division Street (US-395) and US-2. The one acre museum is situated at the home of Ray & Rita Kresek, in a landscape featuring each of the thirty conifer tree species found in the Inland Northwest. A small stream and pond compliment the forest park setting.
The Museum is open to the public, by appointment, March thru November. Phone (509) 466-9171 for tour reservations. Admission is free.
The non-profit and non-commercial Fire Lookout Museum is sponsored by the Kresek family and the Historic Lookout Project, founded in 1969 for the purpose of research and publishing the books, "Fire Lookouts of the Northwest" and "Fire Lookouts of Oregon & Washington". Their success grew into an effort which led to preserving and restoring many abandoned lookouts nationwide; on site, or through re-location.
As objects related to wildfire detection and firefighting became obsolete, there came the need for a repository to preserve their history. The Fire Lookout Museum was the logical place for 19,000 such relics; from lookout towers, to possibly the worlds largest collection of Smokey Bear treasures.
The museum's L-6 lookout tower cab was honored with the highest awards at the 1984 Interstate Fair in Spokane. In 1985 it was a guest of the Washington State Fair, and Guest of Honor at the Oregon State Fair in 1986. The museum has been featured in magazines and on TV, and was a special feature on Peter Jennings ABC World News in 1992.
LOOKOUT TOWERS One of only 2 remaining L-6 towers built during the 1930s; restored from the ruins of the last of 200. A replica of a 1929 spar tree lookout stands 60' tall beside it. A third lookout, a 46' tall MC-40 all steel fire tower, manufactured by Aeromotor of Chicago in 1941, owned & operated by the museum, is 9 miles east. Both towers are fully restored and furnished with lightning protection, vintage telephone, radio, firefinder, and other devices of the era.
Fire Guard Station A fire warehouse/garage built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1936 at Usk, for the Washington Division of Forestry. This was donated by the state Dept. of Natural Resources in 1994; moved to the museum and fully restored.
FIRE TRUCK 1953 Chevrolet 3/4 ton pumper; fully restored with its siren, red lights, radio, pump, 200 gallon water tank, booster reel, hose, fire tools of the 1930's; was Spokane Fire Dept. Truck-75, and Wash. Division of Forestry PT-75.
WEATHER STATION USWB 1936 standard lookout type, with 40 different instruments & devices including anemometers, rain gauges, psychrometers, fuel moisture scales, BI meter, Fire Danger meter, radiosonde balloons. Active US Weather Service Spotter site 19H.
OSBORNE COLLECTION3 1914 - 1934 Each of William B. "Bush" Osborne's five firefinder designs, plus his unique 1932 photo transit panoramic recording camera. 9 other different firefinders from around the world. 18 panoramic photo sets. 23 firefinder disc maps.
COMMUNICATIONS 1910 - 1990 3 Heliographs; 12 different vintage telephones. #9 working phone line with 18 different split tree insulators, lightning fuzes, telephone lineman's belt, tree climbing spurs. Message parachutes & airdrop packs. 65 different vintage forestry radios.
VINTAGE FIRE TOOLSEach one different: 9 shovels; 18 pulaskis; 20 hazel & adze hoes; 4 crosscut saws; 3 early chain saws; 16 backpack pump cans; 10 axes; fire rakes; McLeod tool; Council tools; fire brooms; brush hooks. 18 headlamps. 15 canteens. 12 first aid kits. 25 fire packs. 6 fire hydrants. 4 fire pumps. 60 nozzles. Hose. 25 old fire extinguishers.
MISC. 5,000 Photographs & negatives of lookouts. 600+ books on LOs & Fire. 90 video tapes, CDs, DVDs. 360 National Forest & topographic maps older than 40 years. 46 LO tower & cabin blueprints. 46 different pieces of USFS heavy duty chinaware. USFS commissary cookware. 10 vintage locks & seals. 40+ metal, wood, plastic and posterboard signs. 500 organization patches. 20 official uniforms. 320 badges. 40 hats. 100 hard hats w/organization decals. 29 commemorative buckles. Fire shirts. 56 fire team T-shirts. Fire shelters. Full Smokejumper gear. Vintage logging equipment. Vintage forest fire movie billboards. 185 CCC relics. 45 Keep Washington Green items. 60 Woodsy Owl items. 2,100+ different Smokey Bear collectables, including the National 2011 Silver Smokey awarded to Ray Kresek. More than 14,000 different items!