Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles There's really no difference between here and home. It's just everything's compacted down to a 14 by 14 room. Once you start staffing your lookout, you're gonna be working 10 days on, four days off, late June until usually mid-September. It's a pretty quiet existence. This is my 24th season as a Fire Lookout. Really it's just you and the wind and the time just melts away. My name is Leif Haugen, and we're at Thoma Lookout. A fire lookout is a structure that sits on top of a mountain or a ridge-top that has a good view of the surrounding country and the staffer, then, is tasked with living there for extended periods to watch for fire. It's funny, 'cause I get a lot of questions about the standard day. You wake up with the sun. I mean, it's hard to sleep in a room of glass much beyond sunrise. First thing I'll do is make a cup of coffee. (instrumental music) And usually I'll have that first cup of coffee on the front porch, sit out there, watch the sun come up. Certainly every morning I go out for a walk. I check in at 10. (radio chatter) Hey good morning, I have 67 degrees. I take the weather every day at two. Winds are calm, skies are clear. And checkout at 4:15. (radio chatter) Have a good day. I think the solitary nature, when there's really no fires going, the only thing I might do is check in on the radio twice a day. That might be the only time I really talk unless I'm talking to myself. I think what's so tricky sometimes talking about the lookout experience, is you're not talking to anybody about it. So you more intuit it, you more experience it. I think that's why I always use the term resonance because you just can feel it and sense it. Maybe that's fanciful but it certainly is the way I feel about it. You know you just find yourself sitting on the porch watching the world go by for hours on end. It's beautiful. When you look at, you know, the lifestyle of a fire lookout, it can be a hard choice at times, too, you know, I'm missing a wedding tonight. Over the course of the summer, you might miss a lot of stuff in your life. But certainly every summer I keep coming back because living on top of a mountain for days on end, is just such a beautiful chance at making a life of it.