From Wolf Mountain lookout. Photo courtesy Julie Siegenthaler.

GRASS VALLEY, CA June 10, 2018 – Volunteers are being sought to serve at mountaintop fire lookout towers in Nevada, Placer and Yuba Counties. Lookout volunteers help protect the valley, foothill and mountain communities from the threat of wildfire by keeping an eye out for smoke and flames and then reporting to the Emergency Command Center.

Training and a potluck lunch will occur Saturday, June 23, 2018 between 9 am and 1 pm at the Penn Valley Fire Station #43 on Spenceville Road, just off SR20.

Then new volunteers will receive hands-on training with experienced volunteers at the lookouts during regularly scheduled shifts, either 10 am to 2 pm or 2 pm to 6 pm, each day of the week.

Only qualifications are the following: the ability to climb several stories of stairs (no ladders), no fear of heights, the ability to visually spot smoke many miles in the distance, talk succinctly on a Two-Way radio, be over the age of 18, reliable, attentive, trustworthy and a commitment to serve at least once monthly or ideally weekly the residents and communities of the CAL FIRE Nevada-Placer-Yuba Unit during the July through October (typically) fire season.

Questions about the upcoming training or about becoming a fire lookout volunteer can be directed to the following coordinators: Marty Main for Mt Howell Lookout (Colfax) at 530-228-6318, John Hall for Banner Mountain Lookout (Nevada City) at 530-478-0538, Lou Grossi for Wolf Mountain (Grass Valley) Lookout at 530-886-8992, or Mary Battista for Oregon Peak (Dobbins) Lookout at 530-713-6998.

For coordinating the side dishes, deserts and salads for the potluck luncheon, contact Marty Main at 530-228-6318. A BBQ main dish will be provided.

Over the years, the volunteers, known as V.I.Ps (Volunteers In Prevention) have been credited with numerous first reports of wildland fires. The work these volunteers do generally goes unseen, but is very much appreciated by those who know of their service.