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Baltimore County man raises replica 1930s fire lookout tower in Oregon

Baltimore County man raises replica 1930s fire lookout tower in Oregon

Summer lightning knifes the forests in the dry wilderness of Northeast Oregon. It smolders in roots for hours, days, a week — then pops: a flame.

In the Pacific Northwest, wildfire season bears down in July. Now a Baltimore County man who owns a cattle ranch in Oregon has revived a bygone tradition to defend his property.

Tim Roberts, who lives in Sparks, hired Maryland cabinetmakers to build a replica 1930s fire lookout tower. He hauled the cabin across the country in a 26-foot Penske truck. Now he's raising it four stories by crane, to look mountaintops in the eye and spot smoke.

"When you light a match, the fire's almost doubling in size every second,"...

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