- Associated Press - Thursday, October 15, 2020

SIMPSON, Ill. (AP) - Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois has temporarily closed a popular lookout tower after officials were informed about a large hole in the fence around the platform.

“We intend to patch it as soon as we can so we can reopen,” forest spokesman Richy Rosado said Thursday.

Trigg Lookout Tower, near Simpson in Johnson County, is a popular spot, especially to see sunsets and leaves changing colors in fall.

Rosado said the U.S. Forest Service is “looking into alternatives that will be harder to damage and make a more lasting repair in the near future.”

The tower is the last remaining fire tower among 16 that were built between 1934 and 1939, The Southern Illinoisan reported. It’s no longer a fire tower but remains open for visitors.

The tower is named for L.O. Trigg, an Eldorado newspaper publisher who played a key role in encouraging the government to establish the national forest in the 1930s.

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