Community Park in Bly, Oregon
Maintained for educational purposes
Estimated drive time from Portland, OR.
June 27, 2022
National Historic Lookout Register.
Day 3/10: Lookout Road Trip 2022
After a quick visit to Chase Mountain, we were back on HWY-66 heading east once again. We skirted around Klamath Falls and connected to HWY-140 towards the community of Bly. The Fire Lookout is located in a small community park labeled The Perch. It’s a bright red lookout, so you won’t be able to miss it from the highway. It’s fittingly located next to the Bly Rural Fire Protection District building. We made a quick stop here to check it out. There was no one else at the park during our visit. I’m not sure if that was due to the heat or the swarm of mosquitoes that seemed to be living here. The lookout cab was filled with all sorts of different fire related paraphernalia. Other than the lookout, there were some picnic tables, a play ground, public restrooms, two stacked cars (art display?), and an informative Oregon History kiosk about the Balloon Bombs from World War II.
We continued on to the Ranger Station afterwards to see if they were finally open and if they had some Ranger District maps that we wanted. For the last two years, it felt like they would never open again or at least that’s what my partner thought. We were surprised to find them open, but they didn’t have the maps we needed. A fire crew had apparently cleared them out. We headed briefly on HWY-140 again to the Sprague River National Forest Picnic Area. We stopped here to have lunch and refill our water jugs. Little did we know all of Klamath County was in a drought and had turned off all public water access in parks and campgrounds. Even with an exponentially wet spring some places were still in drought. A crucial misstep in our route planning as the majority of our trip was within Klamath County. We decided not to completely panic yet since we still had seven gallons. But, we knew at some point we’d have to figured something else out. On to Dog Mountain for now.
The Bly Ranger Station was first used as a fire lookout in 1934 with a platform on top of the warehouse roof. In 1958, a 20′ timber tower with 7×7 flat roof cab was constructed on the compound. It was only ever used during emergencies. In 2007, the lookout tower was decommissioned and dismantled. The superstructure was destroyed, but the cab was moved to the community park for display. The community park is less than a mile from the Ranger Station.
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