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Celebration for fire tree lookout’s 75th birthday

Tari JeffersManjimup-Bridgetown Times

Once a life-saving device and now one of the region’s tourist attractions, the Diamond Tree fire lookout turns 75 this month.

The lookout was constructed in 1941 and was used every summer starting November that year, all the way to 1973.

A birthday celebration will be held at the Diamond Tree on November 26 from 2pm and anyone interested in the tree or bushfire history is welcome to attend.

Former “towerman” Doreen Owens will give a talk at the celebration about her time at the fire lookout and the history of the lookout.

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Mrs Owens served at the fire lookout for two seasons, the first in the summer of 1951-52.

“It used to have a ladder, which they took away during winter to stop people from climbing the tree,” she said.

“There was quite a bit of forest, with cleared areas towards Manjimup and Middlesex, at least it was when I was up there.”

Doreen Owens served as a Diamond Tree lookout in the 1950s and will give a talk at the lookout's 75th birthday later this month.
Camera IconDoreen Owens served as a Diamond Tree lookout in the 1950s and will give a talk at the lookout's 75th birthday later this month. Credit: Tari Jeffers

The birthday celebration was organised by The Bushfire Front, an organisations of retired foresters passionate about protecting WA trees from bushfires, and is supported by the Department of Parks and Wildlife, the Manjimup Tourist Bureau and the Manjimup Historical Society.

“We would like to celebrate the contribution of the lookout to bushfire operations in the Warren region over the decades,” chairman Roger Underwood said.

“We also wish to acknowledge the skills and courage of the foresters who built the lookout trees.”

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