Grid Reference -37.466108, 140.859808 (GDA 94)
Department ForestrySA
Work Centre ?
District Penola
Grading ?
Elevation (ASL) 78m
Height Original: ?m
Current: 34.1m
Construction Original: Timber
Current: Steel
Cabin size Original: ?m
Current: 2.6m x 1.7m
Public access to site Yes
In use since Original: 1935 - ??
Current: ?? -

Photo and information supplied by Dennis R. Page, via Alison McLeod

An article in the Advertiser newspaper from Dec 2013 states: Forestry and timber investment group OneFortyOne Plantations will spend around $100,000 to upgrade the Penola North fire tower to provide safer access for firefighters with a more functional top tower stand. The last improvement to the tower was in the 1970s.
We've been unable to find any further details. If you can add any more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please click on thumbnails for enlargements

Cabin load/weight details, supplied by Alan Furguson, the current, 2017, FLO
Alan also provided the cabin size measurements.

Please click on thumbnails for enlargements
These 3 photos above are Copyright ForestrySA and provided by the City of Mount Gambier Library in March 2022 and used with permission. The 1st photo was taken in 1945 and the other 2 in 1953.
For the City of Mount Gambier Library's website page with the collection of fire tower photos, please click here. On this page, you can click on the individual photo for detailed description.

Below is an extract from the Fire Tower chapter of a book, Forestry Tales, that was written by Michael H. Bleby OAM. It is used with permission, thanks Michael.
My next fire tower encounter was at Penola Forest and part of the serious network of towers in the vast Pine plantations of the very flat landscape of the South East of SA. As a student I was assigned at times as a tower observer during vacation employment. The Penola District had 3 fires towers, the principle Number 1 tower on Tower Road, the Nangwarry tower which was an open wooden box with a roof on top of the large concrete water tower in the town, and the tower at Patchells to the south in a remote location on top of a sand hill, which had a small cramped open cabin.
While at Penola forest, the internal phone rang in our house late one evening and it was my boss the District Forester from his house across the paddock. In his very English 'landed gentry' voice I heard "Err, hello Mike, Number 1's gone!" He meant that our Penola North fire tower was itself on fire. On turning the corner into Tower road to investigate, the distant tower in the darkness looked like a roman candle, with the cabin and each of the wooden landings at each ladder section well alight. Nothing much could be done except to let it burn and control anything at ground level from falling embers. We later concluded that the tower man must have that day, incompletely stubbed his cigarette on the floorboards, which hours later got going in the cabin and the falling embers lit up each of the wood floor landings below. This led to ensuring that ash trays of sand were always present in the cabin, and later there was a ban on all smoking in towers.

At the start of the 2019-20 fire season, the FLO was made redundant and replaced by a FireHawk camera.

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