Bearfort Fire Tower
US 244, NJ 6

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 244, NJ 6 (view other lookouts in United States, New Jersey)
Date Registered December 15, 1997
Location Newark Watershed (Pequannock Watershed)
Passaic County, New Jersey
Coordinates N 41° 06.254' W 074° 25.044' (view using Google Maps)
N 41° 06' 15" W 074° 25' 03"
N 41.104233° W 074.417400°
Elevation 1,331 ft (406 m)
Built 1934
Administered by New Jersey Forest Fire Service
Cooperators New Jersey Forest Fire Service

Description

The original lookout on Bearfort Mountain -- circa 1880 -- was a wooden platform or tree lookout. An iron frame tower was built in 1909 by the Newark, NJ Watershed Department, and replaced with a 50’ wooden tower which burned in 1932. A tree platform was used until the current 68’ steel tower was built in 1934. It is a McClintock-Marshall design and may have been supplied by Aermotor under contract. Bearfort remains an active lookout with over a century of service.

Map

Change Basemap

Photos

November 2013 photo by Jan Braidech

November 2013 photo by Jan Braidech

Photo of previous wooden tower in 1925

Photo of previous wooden tower in 1925

Fire finder

Fire finder

View from tower

View from tower

Visit Reports

May 1, 2007: Bob Spear

Condition

Needs paint? Yes
Shutters OK? No Response
Condition of wood OK? Yes
Stairs OK? Yes
Glass intact? Yes
Comments: Needs attention but otherwise in good shape <br />NJ is in progress of upgrading all its fire towers

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? No

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? No
Directions to tower signed? No

Staffing

Staffed? Yes

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? No Response
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? No Response

July 18, 2007: Bob Spear FFLA

Condition

Needs paint? Yes
Shutters OK? No Response
Condition of wood OK? No Response
Stairs OK? Yes
Glass intact? Yes
Comments: This is an addition to the previous report (below): I.e. Inside the observation cab a mess. Hot Rod magazines, empty soda bottles etc and other junk thrown all over. Binnoculars left out, radio attenna left plugged in (lightening damage) Inside of cab needs cleaning and re painting badly and general clean up. Firefinder is NOT in center of cab- also IS NOT set up properly (It's in reverse position) Alidade itself is broken and in bad condition. Area map needs replacing- is old and dirty- No shades on windows lets full sun come through. The place IS NOT a credit to the good name of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service and was an embarrasment to bring representatives of the FFLA to.

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? No
Comments: Fire tower needs a general clean up inside & out. Grounds are unkempt with tall grass and weeds and paint is getting bad although the stairs have been replaced by metal and the roof is a new stainless steel. Also- a stupid carving in the footing that says "Here lies Joe Bearfort......."- footings had been redone with new concrete a short while ago. This is a Section 2 fire tower- although traditionaly, Section 5 personnel were to take care of it- obviously some better supervision needed here by Division office.

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? No
Directions to tower signed? No
Comments? Bearfort is on the NHLR and the sign had been posted at one time but has since vanished. The tower is in a highly visited area with several hiking trails in the Newark Watershed area.

Staffing

Staffed? Yes

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? No Response
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? No Response
If NJFFS needs help keeping the place clean- area FFLA members are willing to help out.

April 15, 2016: Jan Braidech

Condition

Needs paint? Yes
Shutters OK? Yes
Condition of wood OK? Yes
Stairs OK? Yes
Glass intact? No Response
Comments: I think one pane in the cabin was broken or out. We visited Matt Drake who works part-time for the FFS.

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? No

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? No
Directions to tower signed? No

Staffing

Staffed? Yes
Matt Drake was very knowledgeable about his position and his father at one time manned Milton fire tower, etc. Matt pointed out Milton as the sun was reflecting off the windows of its cabin. This is my favorite tower. Well, I do live in the area... so I am a bit biased.

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? No Response
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? No Response

Other Comments

Comments Love the paint job. It looks like more than the red and white one usually sees in northern NJ. It was like the color of a orange/red flame. Nice compliment to the tower.