Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Rangers respond to lean-to fire on Alger Island, wildland fire east of Pharaoh Lake

forest ranger reportTown of Indian Lake
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 28 at 8 p.m., Forest Rangers Miller, Nally, and Thompson responded to a report of a hiker lost on OK Slip Falls. Cell phone coordinates put the 37-year-old from Corinth near Whortleberry Pond, approximately two miles west of OK Slip Falls. After checking the trail register and confirming he was planning to hike OK Slip Falls, Rangers started searching trails in that area.

Ranger Thompson found fresh tracks on a trail heading towards Whortleberry Pond. At 11 p.m. Rangers made voice contact with the hiker who took a wrong trail early in the hike and became turned around. When it was dark, he stopped, built a fire, and called for help. At 11:40 p.m., Rangers located the subject in good condition and walked with him to the trailhead. Resources were clear at 2:07 a.m.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Aug. 1 at 10:08 a.m., Forest Ranger Lewis responded to a call for a hiker with a head injury on the east side of Pitchoff Mountain. Less than half an hour later, Ranger Lewis reached the 67-year-old from New Jersey and bandaged her head. Ranger Lewis walked the hiker and the rest of her hiking party to the trailhead by 12:45 p.m.


Town of Webb
Herkimer County
Unattended Fire:
 On Aug. 2 at 6:15 a.m., the Alger Island Caretaker contacted Forest Ranger McCartney to report a lean-to on fire. Ranger McCartney, Lieutenant Hoag, and the Old Forge Fire Department responded. Half an hour later, the fire was under control, but the lean-to was a total loss. Fire crews knocked the remaining structure to the ground and surrounded it with caution tape and fencing. The following afternoon, the fire was declared out. The fire began as an unattended fire that spread to the lean-to. Rangers remind all campers to never leave a fire unattended; it doesn’t take heavy winds to spread fire quickly. When finished with a fire, it should be drowned with water to ensure there are no remaining hot spots.


Unattended fire on Alger Island. DEC photos.

Town of Fort Ann
Washington County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Aug. 2 at 3 p.m., Ray Brook dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance for a hiker with an ankle injury approximately half-a-mile down from the summit of Buck Mountain. Rangers Donegan and Poulton reached the 17-year-old from Guilderland at 4:40 p.m. and splinted her ankle. Rangers helped the hiker down the mountain until they reached Ranger Morehouse with an ATV, who drove her to the trailhead. Resources were clear at 6:13 p.m.


Town of North Hudson
Essex County
Wildland Fire:
 On Aug. 7 at 5:55 p.m., Forest Rangers Donegan and St. Claire responded to a wildland fire report east of Pharaoh Lake in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area. With Ranger Nally serving as hoist operator, New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation dropped Rangers Donegan and St. Claire to the fire location. The fire includes areas with steep ledges and measures approximately five to six acres. Four more Rangers arrived by boat and by foot the next day. The fire is not threatening the public or any buildings, but is currently not fully contained.

DEC continues to urge New Yorkers to practice the utmost safety when building campfires this summer. Dry weather throughout June and July has increased the risk of fires. More information about how to reduce the risk of wildfires can be found at DEC’s website.

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area fire. DEC photo.

Town of Fine
St. Lawrence County
Forest Ranger Academy:
 The Division of Forest Protection’s 23rd Basic School for Forest Rangers continued at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Ranger School campus in Wanakena. Ranger recruits recently received training in Domestic Violence Prevention, Helicopter Operations, and Wildfire Investigations. They also completed their final Physical Abilities Test as they prepare to leave Wanakena for training in Oriskany for the rest of the month. Upon graduation, recruits will be assigned to patrol public lands across the state.

Ranger recruits at helicopter training. DEC photos.

Ranger recruits at the Ranger Academy. DEC photo.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NYAdirondack Backcountry Information, and Catskill Backcountry Information webpages for more information.

If a person needs a Forest Ranger, whether it’s for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, they should call 833-NYS-RANGERS. If a person needs urgent assistance, they can call 911. To contact a Forest Ranger for information about a specific location, the DEC website has phone numbers for every Ranger listed by region.

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

5 Responses

  1. Dan Vitale says:

    The people that started the lean-to fire should be found and charged both criminal and financial.

  2. Thomas R McGuire says:

    Concerning the lost hiker… replace the very confusing trail sign at the junction of the trail to OK Slip Falls and Ross, Wortleberry & Big Bad Luck Ponds. In many of our hiked to those Ponds we have met hiker looking for the Falls.

  3. Jim Sutton says:

    ISO a DEC Forest Ranger or Forest Fire Control patch for my small display of favorite places.

    ISO a DEC Forest Ranger or Forest Fire Control shoulder patch for my small display of favorite places. Will send an SSSA envelope or cover any costs. Thank you. jim@n2ops.net

  4. JoAnn Leichliter says:

    Pharaoh Lake?

  5. JoAnn Leichliter says:

    I have no website.

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