New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people.
What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers.
Town of Hillsdale
Wildland Fire: On March 12th at 10:30 pm, DEC’s Central Dispatch received a request from Columbia County 911 for Forest Ranger support for a wildfire in the town of Hillsdale. Forest Ranger Gullen responded. The brush fire was approximately eight acres and fire crews were able to contain it by constructing a fire line with water support. Due to heavy winds, hot spots flared up on the hilltop, extending mop up operations. On March 13th at 12:30 am, the fire was declared out and firefighters were clear of the scene.
Region 3 Forest Rangers also responded to three small wildfires recently in Sullivan, Westchester, and Putnam counties. The largest was about five acres in size.
In an effort to reduce the number of spring brush fires, New York State’s residential brush burning ban is in effect from March 16th, through May 14th.
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On March 13th at 6:41 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a 27-year-old subject from Rochester suffering from a sore knee while hiking to Mount Marcy in the High Peaks Wilderness. The hiker did not have a headlamp or flashlight and reported that his four friends hiked out ahead of him. Just before 10 pm, at Marcy Dam, Forest Ranger Sabo made contact with the hiker and two friends who had turned back to help him. Ranger Sabo and the hikers arrived back at the Loj parking lot at 11:16 pm and reunited the hikers with their group.
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Recovery: On March 14th at 1:30 pm, DEC’s Central Dispatch received a request for Forest Ranger assistance from Greene County 911 for a report of an unresponsive hiker on the Becker Hollow trail near the summit of Hunter Mountain. Forest Rangers from Regions 3 and 4 responded to assist. Two Rangers hiked to the location of the 62-year-old man, who was deceased. Additional Rangers on the scene used snowmobiles to access the summit of the mountain using the state truck trail from the Spruceton trailhead. The Rangers then hiked one-half mile in to bring rescue gear and equipment to the rescuers. Due to steep and icy trail conditions, Rangers utilized rope systems and a stretcher (sked) on the technical descent down the Becker Hollow Trail. Rescuers were back at the Becker Hollow trailhead at 11 pm, and the subject was turned over to the Greene County coroner. Rangers were clear of the scene at 11:30 pm. Additional agencies involved include DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement and New York State Police.
Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage.