New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents throughout New York State. 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 Burns and Grove
Wildfires: On May 11th at 1 pm, Forest Rangers Krulish and Thaine responded to a fire in the town of Burns. The homeowner was burning debris when the fire escaped his control and burned his home. When Rangers arrived, the fire was already suppressed and the American Red Cross, local resources, Canaseraga Fire Chief, and Allegany County Emergency Services Coordinator assisting the displaced homeowner.
Many of the same fire department volunteers were dispatched to a second wildfire in the nearby town of Grove. This fire was burning a wooded hillside in a steep and rugged location and Ranger assistance was requested. Rangers worked with local fire departments to contain the fire at 2.6 acres. A resident burning debris behind their home was ticketed for lighting a fire that endangers property of another. Volunteers from Canaseraga, Arkport, Nunda, Dansville, Birdsall, and Short Tract fire departments and Canaseraga and Nunda Ambulance also assisted.
Delaware and Otsego Counties
Towns of Hamden, Hancock, Deposit, Maryland
Wildfires: From May 10th to 16th, Forest Rangers responded to multiple wildfires in Delaware and Otsego counties. Rangers assisted local fire departments with suppression and enforcement actions, along with periodic patrols during the week to check each fire’s status. The size of wildfires ranged from 1.9 to 11.1 acres. The fires were caused by illegal debris burning and utility work on power lines.
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On May 14th at 7:37 pm, Ranger Praczkajlo responded to a report of an unknown medical event on the Jackrabbit Trail off McKenzie Pond Road. Along with Saranac Lake Rescue, Ranger Praczkajlo reached the 40-year-old from Saranac Lake and helped carry him out of the woods and so he could be taken to the hospital. Resources were clear at 8:54 pm.
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Rescue: On May 14th at 6:04 pm, Forest Rangers Fox and Mitchell responded to a report of an injured hiker on the Mary’s Glen Trail in the North/South Lake Campground. When Rangers arrived, the subject had already made it out of the woods with help from her hiking party. Ranger Fox assessed the ankle and knee injuries. The subject advised she would seek medical attention on her own. Rangers helped the hiking party back to their vehicle at South Lake and resources were clear at 8:20 pm.
Town of Watson
Missing Child Found: On May 11th at 10:18 am, Ranger Hanno overheard radio traffic about a missing three-year-old boy with two dogs, possibly in the woods behind a property in the town of Watson. Upon arrival, Rangers and sheriff’s deputies confirmed the child was not in the residence or outbuildings on the property. The family regularly walks the trails behind the home, so crews began searching that area. Searching also took place across the street, where the child was last seen on a resident’s camera at 9:47 am, and a diaper was found further north of the home. At 1:45 pm, a logger found the child approximately 1.29 miles from the family’s home, drove the child out to the road, and alerted a Ranger and deputy the child had been found. The child was evaluated by Lewis County Search and Rescue and released to his parents. Resources were clear at 3 pm.
Village of Suffern
Wildfire: On May 10th, Forest Rangers responded to a wildfire in Harriman State Park. Working with Palisades Interstate Park Commission Park Rangers and volunteer firefighters, Rangers successfully brought the fire under control. The fire was in steep, rocky terrain and burned 62 acres of land, making it the largest wildfire in Region 3 this year. Drone video of the fire is available on the DEC website.
Town of Moreau
Wildfire: From May 13th to 16th, Forest Rangers responded to a fire that burned more than 16 acres at Moreau State Park. Rangers were joined by more than 100 firefighters from 16 fire departments. Among the techniques to help control the blaze was the use of a bulldozer driven by a State Parks employee to create a fire line.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.