Philip Connors has spent 17 summers as a fire lookout in the Gila National Forest. Lookouts are the eyes in the forest, even as the forests they watch have changed, shaped by developers, shifting land management policies and climate change.

The number of manned fire lookouts in the U.S. is dwindling, as technology is increasingly used to spot and monitor wildfires. But can technology replace a human watch?

(Image credit: Nathan Rott/NPR)

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