Ivan O’Neil discusses his experiences as a U.S. Forest Service fire lookout at the Pioneer Ridge Lookout in the Flathead National Forest in Montana. He recalls lying about his age to get a summer job on a brush crew at the Coram Ranger Station in the Flathead National Forest, which led to getting a job as a fire lookout the following summer. He describes the lookout quarters, his food and other supplies, and visits from other fire lookouts. O’Neil talks about nearby lookout stations, such as Battery, Canyon, and Wildcat, some of which were not manned. He also talks about his primary duties which included watching for fires and lightning strikes and recording them. O’Neil describes serving as a smokechaser on several fires and reminisces about daily life as a lookout.
U.S. Forest Service; Pioneer Ridge Lookout, Montana; Flathead National Forest, Montana; Coram Ranger District; Hungry Horse Ranger District; Jim Root; George Ostrom; Elk Park, Montana; South Fork Flathead, Montana; Kalispell, Montana; Battery Lookout, Montana; Wildcat Lookout, Montana; Canyon Lookout, Montana; Desert Mountain Lookout, Montana; Pioneer Lookout; Alidade; Walt Bahr
Northwest Montana Lookout Association Oral History Project, OH 453, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula
University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library
Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 / email@example.com
Oral History Number
O'Neil, Ivan, "Ivan O'Neil Interview, June 16, 2017" (2017). Northwest Montana Lookout Association Oral History Project. 5.