Updated at 4:38 p.m. CDT October 16, 2022
We received photos taken by Rick of the Scott Lookout on the Nebraska National Forest that were taken September 15 about two weeks before the tower was damaged in the Bovee Fire on October 2. Rick is a Forest Service employee from another state and is knowledgeable about wildland fire.
“The road up to the lookout was lined with big, old (well cured) hand piles and the tower was surrounded by ponderosa pines with an excellent needle cast duff layer,” Rick wrote.
12:53 CDT October 15, 2022
The Scott lookout tower that was damaged during the Bovee Fire in Nebraska on October 2 is going to be assessed next month by a structural engineer to determine the integrity of the structure that remains. The damage easily visible in photos includes wood steps and the cabin at the top. The steel framework still stands.
The fire burned nearly 19,000 acres of the Nebraska National Forest and private land on both sides of Highway 2 west of Halsey. When it started October 2 the relative humidity was in the 20s and the wind was gusting to 34 mph out of the south-southeast.
In addition to destroying most of the structures in a 4-H camp, several thousand acres of hand-planted forest burned. The forest was an experiment started in 1903 to provide timber for the railroad and early Sandhills residents. The first planting consisted of 35 acres of jack pine from Minnesota, 15 acres of yellow pine from the Black Hills, and 34 acres of mixed red cedar, blue spruce, jack, and yellow pine.