For nearly a century, observers watched the forests of New York State from more than 100 fire towers perched atop the highest peaks, searching for the dangerous signs of forest fires. There were 19 fire towers in the Catskill region and 52 in the Adirondacks.
Over 40 years ago, The State of New York began to phase out the use of fire towers for spotting forest fires by 1990, the last 5 towers still in operation were closed.
Across the state grassroots, volunteer-based initiatives were formed to try to save the towers. These initiatives recognized that the towers not only represent a piece of the history and heritage of New York State forest protection, but are an untapped resource with tremendous tourism potential.
Tim Bruno spoke to Ann Roberti, President, Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower, about efforts to restore the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower in Delaware County.