New Mexico People Places and Ideas
1:10 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

The Life of a Gila Fire Lookout

Fri. 4/13 8a: April marks the return of New Mexico’s fire season.                                                                                                  

That's when wildfires burn through 1000’s of acres of our forests and their location often leads the news.  Fire Season is also the title of Philip Connors’ best selling memoir about his last 10 years as a fire lookout in the Gila National Forest in Southern New Mexico.

The landscape over which Connors keeps watch is rugged and roadless—it was the first region in the world to be officially placed off limits to industrial machines—and it typically gets hit by lightning more than 30,000 times per year. Connors recounts his days and nights in this forbidding land, separated from the comforts of modern life but free to enjoy the pleasures of being alone in his glass-walled perch with only his dog.

What, exactly, does Connors do as fire lookout, why does he so relish this job, and how does he manage everyday relationships, such as his marriage?  

Please join host Stephen Spitz and guest Philip Connors as we talk about being a fire lookout in the Gila. Produced with the assistance of John Burgund and Joe Green.