C. Kjell Petersen Interview, August 25, 2018


C. Kjell Petersen


Beth Hodder, Ann Fagre



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Download Transcript of C. Kjell Petersen Interview (203 KB)


Kjell Petersen talks about staffing the Snow Peak and Beaver Ridge lookouts as a U.S. Forest Service employee, starting in the late 1960s. He recalls how his lookout was struck by lightning three times in one afternoon, hauling water, calling in a full moon as a fire, and mountain goat trapping by Montana Fish and Game. He also describes being on a lookout during September 11, 2001. He tells the story of another lookout who mistook a herd of elk for wild horses and another lookout whose car got a flat tire and rolled into the timber. He concludes by discussing his appreciation for the solitude the job provided and how some of his most memorable experiences included watching sunrises, sunsets and the stars.


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Document Type

Oral History


U.S. Forest Service; Snow Peak Lookout; Beaver Ridge Lookout; Conrad Lookout; Surveyor’s Ridge Lookout; Fire lookout; Fire fighting, Montana; Red Ives Ranger District; St. Joe National Forest; Flathead National Forest; Clearwater National Forest; Cooney Lookout; Baptiste Lookout; Firefighter Lookout; Flathead National Forest; U.S. Forest Service

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Northwest Montana Lookout Association Oral History Project, OH 453, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

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 / library.archives@umontana.edu

Oral History Number

OH 453-009

Media Type

Sound; Text

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:50:35 minutes

Local Filename

OH_453_009.mp3; OH_453_009.pdf

C. Kjell Petersen Interview, August 25, 2018