Friday, August 31, 2018

Adirondack High Peaks: Hiker Search, Recovery, Wildfires

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 Keene
Wilderness Search: On August 19 at 11:30 pm, a 27-year-old Schenectady man was reported overdue from a hike in the Dix Mountain Range. Due to hiker’s limited equipment and experience, 16 DEC Forest Rangers were assigned the morning of August 20 to find him. At 1:10 pm, as a state police helicopter flew over Dix Mountain, Assistant Forest Ranger Odell heard the missing man yell. Within minutes Odell found the man and flagged down the helicopter, which picked up the pair and brought them to the Keene Valley Fire House. The hiker needed no medical care.

Franklin County

Town of Harrietstown
Wilderness Recovery: On August 24, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch was notified by Franklin County 9-1-1 of a 59-year-old New Jersey woman receiving CPR near the summit of Seymour Mountain. One Forest Ranger and a North Country Life Flight paramedic were airlifted by State Police helicopter to Seymour Mountain where they found the woman deceased. After preparing a suitable evacuation site, her body was removed by helicopter and her hiking party was escorted off the mountain.

Franklin and Hamilton Counties
Wildfires: On August 23 and 24, DEC Forest Rangers contained three different wildfires on state lands resulting from campfires that were not extinguished. Each fire burned one tenth of an acre of forest soil. Summer campfire-caused wildfires typically burn the organic material in the ground around an unextinguished campfire. This leads to the death of surrounding trees and destroys the campsite. Although much of the state received rain that caused flooding, the interior Adirondack Mountains have received slightly less than usual rainfall amounts.

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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