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Wisconsin. State Conservation Committee (1915-27) / Biennial report of the State Conservation Commission of Wisconsin for the years 1915 and 1916

Appendix to report of forestry division. Forest fire plan,   pp. [121]-138 PDF (3.3 MB)

Page 133

notifies both headquarters and the nearest ranger, giving the bearing of
the fire from the tower, and its general appearance. Although the lookout
observer is distinctly a detector of fires, there are times when a fire may
occur close to the tower, and it is then his duty to go to the fire and com-
mence an attack, and stay until relieved by the ranger or patrolman who
comes to fight the fire with the necessary help.
  As a general rule a fire is visible from more than one tower, and thus
bearings are reported to headquarters. From these two angles the exact
location of the fire can be determined. This is known as the triangulation
method of location.
  .Each tower is located on a map at headquarters which corresponds with
the fire map on each tower, and strings are used to mark off the bearings,
as reported by the towerman, on a circle graduated to degrees. The
intersection of these strings gives the location of the fire, thus enabling
the ranger or patrolman, with his knowledge of the roads and trails, to
get to the fire in the shortest possible time.
  The following instructions apply to each tower man:
  "Continuous observation between the hours 7:00 a. m. and 6:00 p. mi.
is absolutely necessary during such weather as requires lookout duty,
and all watchmen are required to be at their stations between the above
mentioned hours.
  "As soon as a fire is located call headquarters and get in communication
with the ranger nearest the fire. If the fire is outside the district of
ranger, then call any person having a telephone within the fire zone and
request him to get to the fire as soon as possible, and to notify the nearest
fire warden or ranger.
  "Every effort should be made to obtain the cooperation of settlers,
owners, and other persons who can be helpful in the territory covered by
the lookout.
  "Each morning before leaving the ranger station call headquarters
to see if the line is in good order, and after getting to the tower c I
headquarters to be sure the line is in good working order, and if the line
is out of order repair it immediately.
  "You should submit a report on the weekly report blanks to E. M.
Weaver, head ranger, Woodruff, Wis. When weather conditions are such
that it becomes unnecessary to be on the lookout for fires, you will receive
instructions from head ranger Weaver, regarding your further duties."
  For the detection of forest fires the lookout tower is very efficient except
during cloudy or hazy weather. At such times the area over which a
clear view can be obtained is reduced. Even under such circumstances
the value of the tower is very great.
Patrol during dry seasons.
  During dry seasons the patrolmen are actively engaged in patrolling
the area assigned to them by the head ranger at the beginning of the
fire season, and according to the instructions with which they are pro-
vided. They cover the territory in which the greatest fire danger exists,
such as along railroads and near the more popular lakes. Each man is
equipped with a shovel, a canvas pail and oftentimes with a portable
phone. In the protected area the shovel is the best tool for fighting fires
as the soils are light and easily handled. The patrolmen operating along
the railroad tracks travel on hand pedes, a permit to operate over the

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