May 31, 1962: "It is now planned to put a modern lookout on Big Southern Butte near Atomic City. The structure will not be completed in time for use this season, but temporary facilities will be set up to man a lookout this season." (The Aberdeen Times)
June 1, 1962: "A temporary fire lookout facility is planned to be located on top of the Big Butte in the center of the Arco-AEC desert during the summer months by the Bureau of Land Management. BLM officials said a modern lookout is planned for the Big Butte, but will not be ready for use this year, so temporary arrangements are being made for the immediate season. Officials said they are preparing for a severe fire season, because of the heavy growth of grass and shrubs due to the heavy snowfall during the past winter. They said this will increase the amount of 'flash fuels' during the dry summer months. The influx of tourists traveling through Idaho this summer could increase the fire danger, also." (The Post-Register)
1963: The concrete structure with an observation cab was completed.
August 31, 1996: "Air tankers dropped retardant to protect the lookout on Big Southern Butte in the central Idaho desert." (The Times-News)
2013: The lookout building and related structures were removed.
National Geodetic Survey
DESIGNATION - BIG BUTTE PID - OY0945
COUNTRY - US USGS QUAD - BIG SOUTHERN BUTTE (1972)
STATION RECOVERY (1972)
RECOVERY NOTE BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1972 (LFS) PREVIOUS DESCRIPTION FOUND IN IDAHO VOL. II, PAGE 1035.
THE AZIMUTH MARK WAS RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION. THE STATION MARK, AND REFERENCE MARKS HAVE BEEN DESTROYED. A LOOKOUT HOUSE OCCUPIES THIS SUMMIT. A U.S.G.S. DISK, STAMPED BIG BUTTE 3 1963 HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED ABOUT 275 FEET WEST-SOUTHWEST OF THE DESCRIBED LOCATION FOR TRIANGULATION STATION BIG BUTTE 2 1960.