Home tour: how a remote fire tower was turned into an idyllic home in the sky

What would you do with a fire tower on a secluded site in Oregon with amazing views? Make it your home of course. See how one couple has done just that

Oregon national park fire tower home
(Image credit: Future)

You may have seen a fire tower just like this on a trip to a national park. Designed to watch for wild fires and alert for help if needed, by necessity they have the best views around. However, the average fire tower is not equipped to be a permanent residence like this, but one couple realised the potential of this type of build for their dream home.

If you live in the city, you will know the feeling of just wanting to get away from the business and hectic lifestyle that usually comes with urban living – and that's exactly how this amazing project started. Dabney Tompkins and Alan Colley bought the land in rural Oregon and built the lookout as a weekend getaway. After feeling like a weekend was never long enough, they decided to move into the tower full time. 

Jealous? We certainly are, all that space and those views all to yourself! But you can live vicariously for a few minutes and take a tour of the gorgeous home and maybe even get inspired to start your own project. Just look inside and try not to instantly feel like you want to cosy up with a blanket and hot chocolate and look out of to that stunning scenery. And take a look at that bedroom! It would be a joy to get out of bed to that view every morning!

Check out the full house tour in the video below, and for plenty more inspiring space head to our completed projects hub page. 

What are fire towers?

Fire towers or fire lookout towers are a specific type of watchtower used in areas where wildfires are a possibility. The sooner you spot a wildfire, the easier it is to limit the spread before it gets out of control, so being able to see easily for miles around is the reason so many fire towers exist allover the world. 

In the United States the Forest Service employs people stationed at these towers to keep an eye out for danger. The number of active fire towers has been much reduced but many are still occupied through the summer months when forest fires are most likely. Idaho had the most fire towers with over 900 built in the last century. Of the 196 that remain, 60 are still in use, the rest left to ruin or become projects for those with a little imagination.

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Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.