Monday, May 14, 2018

Wildfires, Rescues: Adirondack Forest Ranger Missions (May 8-13)

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 from the Adirondack backcountry.

What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks.

Essex County

Town of North Elba
Wilderness Search: On May 8 at 5:30 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request to assist two lost hikers in the McKenzie Wilderness Area. An 18-year-old female from Argyle and a 22-year-old female from Gansevoort became disoriented while descending Haystack Mountain. One Forest Ranger was dispatched to locate the pair while Dispatch obtained cell phone coordinates from Essex County 911. Although the Ranger called the women to tell the hikers how to get back on the trail, the two went in the opposite direction. The Ranger then told the women to stay in place so he could find them. The women were located and escorted back to their vehicle by 8 pm.

Town of North Hudson
Wildfire: On May 8, Forest Rangers responded to a report of a wildfire in the Dix Mountain Wilderness Area. The fire was located at 1,200 feet elevation, just west of I-87 and inaccessible to local fire departments. By May 10, the fire was contained to 26.5 acres. The fire is believed to have been started by a lightning strike.

Town of North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On the evening of May 12, three Erie County hikers at Avalanche Pass called 911 for help. The hikers had just climbed Wright and Algonquin mountains, were cold and wet at higher elevations, and unprepared to stay overnight. One Forest Ranger intercepted the group as they struggled to get to Adirondack Loj. After some minor first aid, the group returned to the parking lot two hours after their call without need of further medical care.

Hamilton County

Town of Indian Lake
Wildland Rescue: On May 9 at 12:30 pm, Hamilton County 911 reported to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch that a 20-year-old Cornwall man was suffering seizures while hiking John’s Pond Trail. By 1:30 pm, Forest Rangers, Blue Mountain Lake Fire Department, and Inlet EMS reached the hiker using all-terrain vehicles (ATV). After being rehydrated, the hiker was transported to the trailhead by 3:30 pm. He refused further medical treatment and returned home.

St. Lawrence County

Town of Edwards
Wildfire: On May 13, six Forest Rangers assisted 50 volunteer firefighters from four county fire departments contain a wildfire started at a residence where garbage was being burned. By the end of the day, the fire had burned 68 acres and was 60 percent contained with no loss of buildings or reported injuries. Six Rangers returned on May 14 to continue developing a containment line and to extinguish any burning material. No further spread of fire is expected and the incident is under investigation.

Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage and Adirondack Trail Information webpage for more information about where you intend to travel. The Adirondack Almanack reports weekly Outdoor Conditions each Thursday afternoon.

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