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 Binghamton
Wildland Fire: On April 24th at 8:30 pm, Forest Ranger Oldroyd responded to a wildfire in the town of Binghamton. The fire spread to heavy log slash (coarse and fine woody debris generated during logging). Ranger Oldroyd determined that debris burning was the cause of the fire, explained New York’s open burning regulations to the individual responsible for starting the fire, and issued a ticket for illegal burning. The Binghamton Fire Department suppressed the fire and declared the fire out at 9:25 pm. To reduce the number of spring brush fires, New York State’s residential brush burning ban is in effect through May 14th.
Town of Lysander
Illegal Fires: On April 19th at 6:30 pm, Forest Ranger Chappell received a call from Onondaga County 911 Dispatch about a woman setting fires in several parking lots at the Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The Phoenix Fire Department responded and extinguished the fires. Ranger Chappell and Ranger Lieutenant Jackson also responded to the site to conduct a preliminary investigation and found the remnants of bonfires in the parking lots. Ranger Chappell interviewed witnesses and identified a possible subject. The following day, Ranger Chappell, along with Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) Thomas, attempted to locate the suspect at home and were advised by the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office that its Officers had caught the subject back at the WMA tending another fire. Ranger Chappell and ECO Thomas responded and the individual was issued several tickets for a variety of DEC violations, including leaving a fire unattended, depositing trash on a WMA, and unlawful open burning.
Town of Sandy Creek
Wildland Search: On April 21st at 12:50 pm, DEC’s Central Dispatch received a call from the New York State Police (NYSP) requesting Forest Ranger assistance with a search for a missing 12-year-old in the town of Sandy Creek. Forest Rangers Chappell, Virkler, and ECO Brown responded to assist. After almost three hours of searching, the child was located in the woods by a NYSP Trooper and NYSP K9 Rudd. This successful search is the result of great teamwork by NYSP, Forest Rangers, ECOs, State Park Police, Oswego County Sheriff’s Deputies, Oswego County Search and Rescue, Sandy Creek Fire Department, and NOCA Ambulance.
Town of Albion
Party/Unattended Fire: On April 24th, Region 7 Forest Rangers received a complaint about a large party in the Happy Valley WMA. Forest Ranger Chappell responded and documented a large amount of trash and an unattended bonfire. The following day, Rangers received a complaint about another overnight party at the same location. Ranger Chappell responded and found an individual still present at the site, along with several cars partially blocking the roadway. The individual was instructed to clean up the trash and the vehicles on the road were towed at the owners’ expense. DEC’s investigation is ongoing.
Town of Fort Ann
Wilderness Rescue: On April 24th at 12:15 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Warren County 911 reporting a 51-year-old woman from Malta with an ankle injury was approximately one mile up the Buck Mountain Trail. Forest Ranger Baker responded along with Pilot Knob Fire and EMS. Once on scene, Ranger Baker assisted with the carryout of the hiker to the trailhead where she was transferred to EMS and transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.
Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage.