The Fire was reported to the DEC Ray Brook Dispatch on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 1:23 pm. Responding Forest Rangers reported the fire was about two acres on Bear Mountain above Crane Pond. Dry and windy conditions on Sunday increased the fire to about 80 acres.
On Monday, DEC issued the following statement:
“The Schroon Lake Fire Department staged a pump truck on Pyramid Road to protect structures if the fire moved in this direction. State Police Aviation conducted bucket drops all afternoon. Currently the fire has grown to approximately 100 acres with 14 Forest Rangers on scene. Ongoing aid is being provided by State Police Aviation and the Schroon Lake Fire Department. Hikers are discouraged from using the Short Swing Trail off State Route 74. Hikers should also be aware that there will be smoke conditions, depending on the prevailing winds.”
The fire grew to almost 122 acres before it was contained on Monday evening at about 7 pm, according to DEC spokesperson Emily Kilburn “with a hand line on the western perimeter. Rangers also used leaf blowers to clear the Short Swing trail before constructing the eastern hand line.”
DEC is continuing to monitor the situation, Kilburn said. On Tuesday, light rains that began in the morning have increased to be heavy at times.
The road to Crane Pond has been illegally open for many years. Last year, after the road was reported almost impassible where it crosses a wetland, it was illegally rebuilt by what many presumed to be a local highway crew or renegade DEC staff.
This story was updated at 3 pm, Tuesday.
Photo by Forest Ranger Sarah Bode.