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Texas State professor pens 'Fire Lookouts of Glacier National Park'

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
July 8, 2014

Fire Lookouts of Glacier National Park

Texas State University's David Butler, a professor in the Department of Geography at Texas State University, has authored Fire Lookouts of Glacier National Park, the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series.

Butler is the Texas State University System Regents’ Professor of Geography and a University Distinguished Professor. He served as a red bus “Gearjammer” in Glacier Park in 1973 and 1974 and has conducted research there since 1975. The book boasts more than 200 vintage images and memories of high points atop mountain peaks in the Glacier National Park region.

This volume offers a look at the history and geography of the historic fire lookouts of Glacier National Park and surrounding areas in northwest Montana. Widespread fires in the 1910s and 1920s led to the construction of more permanent lookouts, first as wooden pole structures and subsequently as a variety of one- and two-story cabin designs. Cooperating lookouts in Glacier Park, the Flathead National Forest, and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation provided coverage of forests throughout Glacier National Park. In Glacier National Park, the onset of aerial observations in 1954 sounded the death knell for many of the park’s fire lookouts, and many were subsequently razed or removed. Today, nine fire lookouts remain in Glacier Park, four or five of which are regularly manned during summer fire season.

Butler has preserved the past of the Glacier National Park region for future generations through this pictorial history of the rise and fall of the extensive fire lookout network that protected Glacier National Park during times of high fire danger. Fire Lookouts of Glacier National Park honors these unique landmarks.

For more information, visit the Arcadia Publishing website at