Dual post: Arizona violinist and fire lookout

Posted on: June 28, 2022

“Janie Croxen Ringleberg is a fire watcher who practices her violin for upcoming performances with the White Mountain Symphony Orchestra while watching for smoke from 31 feet off the ground,” writes Joan Meiners in Saturday’s (6/25) Associated Press. “Her grandfather is believed to have been the first fire lookout in Arizona, stationed at the Woody Mountain tree stand near Flagstaff in 1910. For the past 30 summers, except for the one after she gave birth to her daughter, Ringleberg has called in to the Springerville Interagency Dispatch Center at 8 a.m. before she starts her shift as one of the few remaining paid fire watch tower employees anywhere.… Ringleberg has seen how climate change, drought and historical fire suppression have worsened wildfires and changed Arizona’s alpine forests…. This year, she has been working 10-hour days six days a week since May 8. But Ringleberg still has time to bring her violin up to the tower and said she’s ‘able to practice while … keeping up on what’s happening in the landscape around me.’ ” When Ringleberg retires, she hopes “somebody will come along who has as much interest in it as I have had over the years.”