By Meg Upton
“I do this because I’m a little crazy,” said Christopher Rivera. Retired from police work, he’s taken on directing the Forest Fire Lookout Association California Central West Region (https://ffla-ccwr.org/) and with that he wants to see Argentine Rock Lookout (located near Quincy) restored.
“It’s an awesome location. I’d never been there before, but I went out there and everything I saw was just awe inspiring,” said the Lake County based Rivera. The Argentine Rock Lookout is beautiful to Rivera and other preservationists. He wants to inspire Plumas County locals to get involved to save it, refurbish it and rebuild it.
“The internal framework [of Argentine Rock Lookout] is in great shape. It won’t take a lot to put it back together and back into service. The goal is to put lookouts back into service, with materials and effort coming from the community around them,” said Rivera.
Rivera says the Argentine Rock Lookout was commissioned in the 1930s and decommissioned in the 1980s.
California at one time had many lookouts in the region and many are now registered on the historic lookout registry. Along with fire service protection, they were also used in support of World War II, especially along the coast, as a way to look out for enemy ships, and to monitor weather. Nowadays, visitors can book overnight stays in some of them. Working lookouts can be staffed and provide tours for visitors.
Rivera posted information on saving and restoring the local lookout in the Facebook Quincy Classifieds group and has been excited about the response so far. Work on the project will need all sorts of volunteers.
Rivera isn’t interested in top down projects. He’s looking to inspire community involvement
“We go into communities and do community-based program for people wanting to do things much bigger than themselves,” said Rivera.
“There will be some who will do a task and move on; some volunteers will become leadership too,” said Rivera. In restoring the lookout Rivera says he and volunteers will be looking for artifacts from that lookout. Artifacts such as log books, the original Osborne fire finder, and original appliances specific to that lookout. “All these items are probably somewhere in the community. We just need to shake the bushes,” said Rivera.
Readers interested in volunteering on the restoration project should contact Rivera at his email
[email protected] or call him at (707) 239-6824.