We love this essay from Philip Connors about his time as a spotter and are republishing it on the homepage for new readers to enjoy. I found the transition from an office in lower Manhattan to a tower in the New Mexico wilderness remarkably painless. Tending bar, it turns out, is as good a companion career as any for a lookout. When I first came to the Gila country, I was completely ignorant about wildfire. Philip Connors is the author of Fire Season: Field Notes From a Wilderness Lookout (Ecco/HarperCollins).