WTI has sponsored Keller Peak Fire Lookout through the Adopt-A-Lookout program sponsored by the San Bernardino National Forest Association (SBNFA). The sponsorship supports the Fire Lookout Host program managed by the SBNFA, helping to keep seven historic towers across the San Bernardino National Forest staffed and in good repair to continue to spot fires and educate visitors to the local communities and National Forest.
The lookout appeals to the CEO of WTI on two diverse fronts. Keller Peak overlooks one of a large, linked network of Southern California Edison towers that operate using WTI devices. On a personal note, the CEO also has a long tradition of spending time in the area. He states, “I’ve grown up coming to these mountains and continue to bring Boy Scout groups up to Shady Cove Campground. Touring the lookout and experiencing their fire safety talk inside a working fire lookout tower are incredible opportunities for them.” The donation will allow for much needed roof repairs on the tower to proceed, keeping it safe and open to the public. The CEO notes, “Giving back to such a viable program helps ensure this opportunity exists for kids in the future.”
Lookout volunteers help to protect the forest and local mountain communities, as well as urban communities along the forest boundary from the threat of fire. The volunteers also act as hosts to the many visitors to the lookouts. Last year, lookout volunteers logged over 10,000 hours, reached almost 11,000 visitors with responsible recreation and fire safe messages, completed 6 smoke checks (outside forest boundary) and 14 smoke reports (inside forest boundary), including two first smoke reports.
Keller Peak Lookout is one of seven working towers on the San Bernardino National Forest, originally staffed from 1926 through 1981 by the Forest Service. In 1994, the Fire Lookout Host program was created to restore, maintain, and staff the lookouts, while interpreting the natural and cultural history to visitors to the towers. Currently, over 250 volunteers operate all 7 lookouts daily from 9-5 during fire season.
At 7,882’ elevation, Keller Peak Lookout offers the public 360 degrees of prime southern California views. Visitors can gaze upon spectacular views of the San Gorgonio Wilderness and Santa Ana River drainage to the east, see almost the entire range of the San Bernardino Mountains, and can even glimpse the Pacific Ocean and the skyline of Los Angeles.