Not nearly as many as in the old days, however. The New York Times profiles a guy who spends his summers looking for smoke in Tahoe National Forest.

To get to the Saddleback lookout, one travels back in time, road-wise, going from asphalt to dirt to a treacherous stone-filled path that acts as the lookout’s driveway. And then you hike. Up past an outhouse, up past the spot where rattlesnakes like to sun themselves and up two flights of metal stairs, until finally you find what may be the world’s coziest government building.

Built in 1933, Mr. Gates’s wooden shack sits on stilts and is held on a crag by steel cable. Inside are a child-size sink, a small stove and a set of pink flamingo-shaped Christmas lights over his platform bed. Not that sleep is always easy: winds on the mountain can gust up to 80 miles an hour, violently shaking the shack.

“You don’t have to put a quarter in the bed or anything,” he said. “It just goes.”

Thanks to alert reader Miguel Marcos for sending the link along.