Idaho man pushes to rebuild historic fire lookout

The lookout was located on Spades Mountain in Hayden Idaho.

HAYDEN, Idaho -- A local man said he wants to rebuild the historic lookout tower on Spades Mountain near Hayden Lake.

U.S. Forest Service crews tore the tower down in early July. Representatives said they had no choice because the tower was not safe.

"It was subjected to a lot of pointless vandalism for many many years. It became a liability issue," said photographer Chris Celentano, the man leading the charge to rebuild the tower.

Celentano said he has used the tower to take some of his favorite pictures. He also sees the fire tower as an important part of the area's history.

He created a Facebook page and the hashtag "RebuildSpades" to generate interest in rebuilding the tower.

Celentano said the tower's view could show everything from the Northern Lights to downtown Spokane.

The Forest Service used the 67-foot-tall tower up until the 70's as a forest fire lookout. When they stopped using it, it became one of the few lookouts remaining in the area until it was torn down.

"At that point, I was like, 'It's time we do something,'" said Celentano.

Forest Service officials said they are willing to consider Celentano's ideas but they have no plans currently to do so. They said it is largely an issue of funding and maintenance over the years.


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