TD News, Number 2, 2003 - Internet Web Site: '' Send an e-mail request for username and password to: ''

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New Osborne Fire Finders

The Osborne Fire Finder, a standard device for pinpointing fire locations from lookout towers since the 1920s, is back. One prototype fire finder—constructed entirely from new parts—is already in service at the Odell Butte Lookout near Bend, OR, where it will be evaluated for several weeks this summer.

Photo of an Osborne Fire Finder.

Production of the fire finders halted in 1975. The San Dimas Technology and Development Center’s long-term objective is to have a source of new fire finders and replacement parts for old Osbornes. With the help of Jeff Palmquist, a pattern manufacturer and volunteer lookout on the San Bernardino National Forest, a complete set of patterns was created from 1935 model fire finders in good condition.

Palmquist Tooling of Southgate, CA, has been a participant in this project and is now the sole source for Osborne Fire Finders. Two prototype fire finders have been completed.

Some changes have been made in the new fire finder. The base, originally made of cast iron, is now aluminum. Nylon set screws are used in the sight ring as adjustable bearings to minimize wear and maximize accuracy.

For more information, contact Joe Fleming, project leader (phone: 909–599–1267, ext. 263; fax: 909–592–2309; e-mail:

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