Jackson County, Ore.- He’s the last one left. Vic Rooney is the last person working a manned ODF fire tower in Jackson County.
Everyday during fire season he wakes up and has one thing on his mind.
Vic’s been working in forestry since 1973, starting as a lumber contractor. His time as a fire lookout started 8 years ago.
He started at White Point and then moved to Round Top Mountain. Of all the places he’s worked Soda Mountain is his favorite.
Each day Vic wakes up at sunrise to look out for smoke. He lives in the small tower on Soda Mountain. Resources are minimal. The closest source of water is a 9 mile hike. And electricity is a luxury.
His daily routine is simple.
He takes notes daily on what he sees and reports any smoke to ODF. After almost a decade as a lookout he knows if he see something.
And while his time on soda mountain is work. Vic says he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
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