The Volunteer Fire Lookouts Of Maine’s York County

David N. Hilton reports on a special breed of volunteers who staff lookout towers to safeguard their neighbors from fire.


The first forest fire lookout at Squaw Mountain in Little Squaw Township, ME, was placed into service on June 10, 1905. William Hilton of Greenville, then 19 years old, was the first observer, or “watchman,” as he was called. The first entry in the log kept by Hilton reads: “Commenced work...


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David N.Hilton was born and raised in York, ME, under the shadow of Mount Agamenticus and its fire lookout tower. He retired from the York Fire Department after fighting fires for 15 years, then became active in the volunteer tower watch program in 1991. Hilton and other volunteers continue to staff the Mount Agamenticus fire tower and other towers each season. He is also active in the nationwide Forest Fire Lookout Association and is co-founder and vice president of the Southern Maine Fire Radio Notification Association.