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.
Towns of Coeymans and Berne
Prescribed Fire and Wildfire: On May 13th, DEC Forest Rangers conducted a 15.2-acre prescribed burn on the Louise E. Keir Wildlife Management Area. DEC Forest Ranger DiCintio, under the supervision of Forest Ranger Carpenter, along with Region 4 Forest Rangers, DEC Division of Wildlife personnel, Albany Pine Bush staff, volunteers, and the Coeymans Hollow Fire Department, successfully conducted the burn. Prescription burning on this wildlife management area reduces undesirable shade vegetative species while promoting desirable pine pitch, oak, and blueberry vegetation. The vegetation provides cover and food to wildlife including songbirds, ruffed grouse, wild turkeys, whitetail deer, and eastern cottontail rabbits. While nearing completion of mop-up, Forest Ranger Mitchell received a call regarding an active wildfire at the Cole Hill State Forest. While other staff continued mop-up, Forest Rangers Gullen, Jackson, and Mitchell responded with fire engines to suppress the one-acre wildfire. Forest Ranger wildfire investigators determined the fire was caused by target shooting in the area. Also responding to the wildfire were fire departments from Berne, East Berne, Westerlo, Knox, Onesquethaw, Rensselaerville, Huntersland, New Salem, Guilderland Center, and North Bethlehem.
Town of Andes
Wildfire: On May 14th at 4:10 pm, Delaware County 911 requested Forest Ranger assistance for a brush fire approximately 3/4 of a mile into the woods off of Butler Road in the town of Andes. Members of the Andes Fire Department used a UTV with a water pumper and had the fire suppressed when Forest Rangers Bink and Seeley arrived. Rangers assisted with the suppression and mop up, which was time consuming due to several downed and dead trees that ignited during the fire. Approximately .2 of the one-acre fire crept onto Delaware Wild Forest Preserve land. Investigators determined that ATV/hunter activity is the possible cause. The fire was put into patrol status overnight and declared out on May 15th.
Town of Indian Lake
Wildland Fire: On May 14th at 11:52 am, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch was contacted by Hamilton County 911 requesting Forest Ranger assistance for a wildfire off of Starbuck Road in the town of Indian Lake. Forest Rangers Lomnitzer, Temple, Miller, and Scott responded to assist. Over the course of several hours, Forest Rangers worked with the responding volunteer fire departments to suppress and control the fire. After approximately seven acres burned, the fire was placed in patrol status later in the evening. The fire was patrolled and monitored for several days before being declared out. The cause of the fire was traced back to an illegal debris burn by a nearby homeowner. The individual was issued several tickets for illegal burning and related charges.
Town of Fort Ann
Wildland Search: On May 14th at 8:46 pm, Warren County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from New Jersey two hikers on Buck Mountain without reliable light sources. The pair advised they were still on the trail, but concerned their cell phone lights would not last until they got back to the trailhead. Forest Ranger Poulton arrived on scene at 9:29 pm, walked up the trail, and located the hikers immediately. The Ranger escorted the pair back to the trailhead and the incident concluded at 9:45 pm.
Town of Horicon
Wildland Fire: On May 15th at 4:05 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch was contacted by Warren County 911 requesting Forest Ranger assistance for a fire off Shaw Hill Road in the town of Horicon. Forest Rangers Saverie, Kabrehl, and Donegan responded to assist. Over the course of several hours, Forest Rangers worked with the responding volunteer fire departments to suppress and control the fire. After approximately four acres burned, the fire was placed in patrol status later that evening. The fire is currently in patrol status and is being monitored daily by Forest Rangers.
Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage.