Monday, November 2, 2020

Rangers return from stint fighting western fires

South Dakota, California, and Colorado
Fighting Wildfires:
 On Oct. 16, DEC welcomed back the State’s third team of Forest Rangers, staff, and volunteers deployed to help battle and contain wildfires raging in western states. The wildland firefighting crew began their assignment on Sept. 30. The crew includes a DEC Forest Ranger crew boss and nine firefighters from the ranks of Forest Rangers and other DEC programs.

Shown at left: New York State wildland firefighter in South Dakota

The returning New York crew joined federal, state, and local fire agencies battling wildfires in Gibbons, South Dakota, and was tasked with securing control lines. In addition, three DEC Forest Rangers assisted in fighting fires in California and Colorado. One Ranger was assigned to the August Complex fire in California, while another served as Task Force Leader for the Castle fire in California. A third Ranger served as Ordering Manager for the Williams Fork fire in Colorado.

The returning crews of New York Forest Rangers, staff, and volunteers are:

  • Robert Praczkajlo, Forest Ranger, Crew Boss, Essex and Franklin counties
  • Brendan Aschmutat, DEC Division of Fish and Wildlife, Saratoga County
  • Aimee Bills, Forest Ranger, Herkimer and Oneida counties
  • Michael Giocondo, DEC Forester, Lewis County
  • Joseph Hess, Forest Ranger, Saratoga County
  • Captain Jaime Laczko, Forest Ranger, DEC Central Office
  • David Nally, Forest Ranger, Fulton County
  • Hannah O’Connor, Forest Ranger, Warren County
  • Jeremy Oldroyd, Forest Ranger, Broome and Chenango counties
  • Kyle Olson, DEC Division of Fish and Wildlife, Tompkins County
  • John Rusher, Forest Ranger, Ulster County
  • Neilson Snye, DEC Division of Operations, Franklin County
  • Daniel Wehn, DEC Division of Environmental Remediation, Fulton County

A fourth crew left on Oct. 17 for deployment from the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center in Denver.

Forest Rangers and volunteers pose for a group photo with mountain range in the background
DEC Forest Rangers, staff, and volunteers fight western wildfires in South Dakota

Forest Rangers fight wildfire in smoky woods, a car's headlights lighing a path through the smoke
DEC Forest Rangers, staff, and volunteers fight western wildfires


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