April 1, 1954: "A Flathead National Forest ranger who in 1928 was in charge of construction of Red Plume lookout, about 30 miles northeast of Spotted Bear Ranger Station and 27 miles from U.S. Highway 2 at Java, this week supervised dropping materials for a new lookout tower at Red Plume. In '28, the material went in by way of pack mule and the lookout was built on the ground, partially because of the impracticality of hauling and moving timbers. The new lookout, one of four remaining in Spotted Bear District, will be on a 15-foot tower. Treated timbers up to 20 feet in length were dropped from a Johnson Flying Service DC-3 Monday in what Forest Service officials call a 'highly successful' drop. Charles Shaw, Spotted Bear District ranger, went along on the drop with Warren Ellison, pilot; Bob Clark, co-pilot, and Albert Cramer, drop foreman. It was Shaw, then a Schaffer district smokechaser, who was in charge of construction of the original lookout in 1928. He reported that all material was dropped within 200 feet of the present lookout. The late March date was chosen for the drop to take advantage of the 15 to 20 feet of snow which cushioned landing of the parachuted material. Actual construction will not start until the snow leaves, about July 1. The old lookout at Red Plume has been declared unsafe for further occupancy. Nineteen bundles weighing a total of 4200 pounds were dropped. Shaw rode with the DC-# to and from Missoula. He reported that while over the lookout the plane made a drop every two minutes from about 500 feet above the ridge. Srategic Red Plume id 7500 feet high. A lookout there can see most of the Middle Fork drainage and a lot of Glacier National Park. Shaw estimated that transportation cost for material for the new lookout were about a third the cost of packing in materials by mule for the original lookout. Less work was involved too, he added. "Besides," Shaw declared, 'we are able to use materials that we couldn't have used without the airdrop.' On the other hand, the drop was not all fun. The DC-3 rose to altitudes of over 14,00 feet, where the thermometer registered 18 below zero in the plane. A door had to be left off so the material could be dropped, Shaw explained." (The Daily Inter Lake)
1955: The new lookout tower was completed and lookout duties transferred to the new structure.