Responsible Wood has scanned the world for positive stories from the forest. Meet Nancy Gallego, a forest monitor who has a remarkable story to share…

Forests can be fascinating, inspiring, and great places to relax. But often we forget that there is so much more about them than meets the eye. In our video series Humans of the Forests (HoF), we hear from people around the globe who are in touch with forests and timber in their daily lives, and tell us what forests mean to them.

In the next instalment of the series, Nancy Gallego shares her story with us. Nancy’s job is breath-taking in every sense of the word: Every morning, she climbs up an observation tower, high above the Chilean forests, to look out for forest fires.

Nancy Gallego, a forest fire monitor in Southern Chile, shares her story with us. Every morning, she climbs up an observation tower to look out for forest fires.

Nancy Gallego, a forest fire monitor in Southern Chile, shares her story with us. Every morning, she climbs up an observation tower to look out for forest fires.

A job with a view

“When they offered me the job, I hesitated to accept, because I was a bit scared of heights,” Nancy remembers. “At first I didn’t tell my mum that I was working here, because she was going to worry.”

Years on, Nancy has long overcome her fear. After climbing up the tower, she is rewarded with an exceptional view.

“I love the landscape. There is so much to see within these 360 degrees,” she says. “You can see the snow and the snowy volcanoes. The landscape is so beautiful.”

Nancy was Chile’s first female fire monitor. “Everyone wanted to know who I was, and it was seen as remarkable that a woman did this job. But now we are many.”

Forests that give life

“PEFC is very important for us, because it requires companies to provide good working conditions, and to recover part of the native forest that has been lost,” she explains.

“Forests give us a green landscape and generate employment for the community. So they give us life.”

As the first female fire monitor in Chile, Nancy works toward the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5: Gender Equality.

Meet the Humans of the Forests!

Chile was our second destination, after the first instalment had taken us to Italy, where we learnt about the daily work of a forester and how a PEFC-certified forest gave new life to a village destroyed by an earthquake.

To hear the full stories, head to the HoF Youtube channel and follow us on Instagram and meet the Humans of the Forests!