October 2023: KSBW Reports on Monterey County’s last manned fire lookout tower

See the story and video


A great photo of the stars above Chews Ridge from Nancy Baker and Mike Smelser was published by Monterey County Weekly.  

See it live at Monterey County Weekly’s Monterey County NOW for June 2, 2021.

May 2021: Back in Service

KSBW Monterey reports Chews Ridge Lookout Tower back in service here.

September 2020: KCRW Los Angeles Greater LA Podcast

KCRW podcast producer (and FFLA Monterey lookout) Myke Dodge Weiskopf talks to Greater LA podcast host Steve Chiotakis about Chews Ridge Lookout Tower and being a lookout.

Listen to the story here.

Scott Healy’s dramatic low-light photo of the Dolan Fire behind CRLO made it to the front page of the Carmel Pinecone on September 11, right next to the condor wrangler.  Good shootin’ Lookout 39!

See the picture here.

In the June 18th, 2020, edition of the Monterey County Weekly David Laws has the photo of the day:

The view from the Chews Ridge fire lookout, 5,000 feet above sea level, in its summer glory as seen on June 7, 2020. iPhone panorama mode. (David Laws)


See it in the Weekly’s photo gallery.

Back in Service on June 1st, 2020


In the January 2nd, 2020, edition of Voices of Monterey Bay Kate Woods Novoa quotes former Cone Peak lookout Soaring Jenkins,

“I look back on that time at the lookout as one of the most alive, spacious and nurturing experiences of my life,” she said. “I believe it made me more able to live in our solar house in the wilderness, and gave me skills that are useful for life in the wild. I don’t know who I’d be if I hadn’t followed that dream of living alone on a mountain. I’m so grateful for it. And I felt like I was part of a small and vanishing group, sort of the last remnants of a tribe.”

See some great photos and read the rest here.

In the December 12th, 2019, edition of the Monterey County Weekly Asaf Shalev writes:

“By the time hikers reported a wildfire at Garrapata State Park on a July morning in 2016, it was too late. The blaze was spreading rapidly, reaching 2,000 acres within 24 hours. Soon, the Soberanes Fire consumed dozens of structures and much of the Big Sur backcountry. According to Fire Capt. Steve Dean, a 31-year veteran of the U.S. Forest Service, the smoke might have been detected and called in sooner – if only someone was stationed at the fire lookout tower on Chews Ridge.”

Read the rest online at Monterey County Weekly.

In the June 14th, 2019, edition of the Carmel Pine Cone Chris Counts publicized the early efforts to recruit volunteers to staff the Chews Ridge lookout tower:

“…in an effort to give fire fighters a better chance of stopping the next blaze, the U.S. Forest Service is planning to staff the lookout tower again – this time with volunteers.” 

Read the article on page 13A here.