Podskoch’s endeavor to chronicle the history and lore of each of the nearly 60 Adirondack fire towers deserves a spot on the shelf of not just those interested in the history of the Adirondacks (where it’s an essential volume), but also those with an interest in the history of forestry, conservation, wildfires, rural labor and community life in remote places. Podskoch’s extensive interviews with those familiar with the towers serves as an important Adirondack oral history of New York’s leadership in wildfire suppression. » Continue Reading.
The number of wildfires during New York’s traditional high-fire period declined 33 percent in 2010, following the enactment of new restrictions on open burning, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). DEC forest rangers responded to 34 wildfires from March 15 to May 15 in 2010 compared to 51 during the same period in 2009.
New York enacted tighter restrictions on open burning in 2009 in an effort to reduce the impacts of airborne pollutants and to limit the risks of wildfires. While the new regulation allows residential brush burning for most of the year in towns with a population of less than 20,000, it prohibits open burning in all communities during early spring (March 15 – May 15) when the bulk of New York’s wildfires typically occur. Among the factors that enable wildfires to start easily and spread quickly at this time of year are warm temperatures, wind, the lack of green vegetation and the abundance of available fuels such as dry grass and leaves. » Continue Reading.
The dry weather prior to and during the Memorial Day holiday weekend resulted in a high fire danger and eight wildland fires in the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 5 portion of the Adirondacks. However, the rains on Tuesday, June 1, have likely put out many of fires and lowered the fire danger. What follows is a summary of wildland fires that DEC forest rangers and others responded to over since Thursday, and their status as of late yesterday afternoon provided by the DEC: * The 0.3 acre Valentine Pond Fire in the Town of Horicon, Warren County, which was started by lightning on May 27, is out.
* The 1.0 acre Wevertown Fire in the Town of Johnsburg, Warren County on Mill Mountain, which was started by fire on May 27, is out.
* The 7.0 acre Skagerack Mountain Fire in the Town of Chesterfield, Essex County, which was started by lightning on May 27, is in patrol status. » Continue Reading.
Not the Johnny Weissmüller films, but one of the last scenes from the original book by Edgar Rice Burroughs in which Tarzan rescues Jane one last time by swinging through the trees – “with the speed of a squirrel” – the trees of Wisconsin. Yup. Wisconsin. In a forest fire. » Continue Reading.
Last week the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) held a ceremony to honor William F. Fox, the “father” of the state’s modern-day forest rangers, on the 100th anniversary of his death.
Fox was born in 1840 in Ballston Spa, Saratoga County, and graduated from Union College in Schenectady in 1860. He served in the Civil War as Captain, Major and then Lieutenant Colonel in the 107th New York Volunteers and later wrote a number of books on both the Civil War and forestry.
This month marks the 100th anniversary of the destruction by fire of the Fort William Henry Hotel in Lake George. On June 24, 1909, the day before the hotel set to open for the season, it was destroyed in a blaze that started in the early morning hours.
Next year marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most terrible Adirondack years on record. Forest fires ravaged the region in 1908 and led to a widespread system of fire detection. The recent California fires point up the danger Adirondackers face as global warming tends the region to increasing episodes of drought such as that that occurred this fall and contributed to the historically low levels at the Hinckley Reservoir.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, fires raged out of control in the many of New York State’s vast wooded areas. The years 1903 and 1908 were particularly disastrous, and because of public outcry for protection from the devastation, the state began a rigorous fire and prevention and control program, including the building of fire towers. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack landmarks have had a tough year so far – first there was the arson that destroyed the Episcopal Church in Pottersville and then last week the Brant Lake General Store went up in flames.
The Brant Lake General Store was one of those classic places found all around the Adirondacks – part deli, part bait shop, part hardware store, newsstand and convenience store. It only recently changed hands (the new owners added a liquor store) when it caught fire sometime after midnight on August 1. The store’s former owner, Roger Daby, was among firefighters from six local companies and who fought the three alarm fire. » Continue Reading.
Last week’s fire in Lake George Village destroyed a block of architectural blunders that had replaced the majestic Hotel Lake George, which itself was destroyed by fire in 1978.Let’s only hope someone has a little better foresight and consideration of the character of the village when they rebuild (or approve a rebuild) this time. Consider what it looked like in the 1950s:
The old Hotel Lake George had been a local landmark owned byCaldwellSupervisor (as the Town ofLake Georgewas known then) Edwin J. Worden – it was called the Hotel Worden until the late 1940s or early 1950s. » Continue Reading.
Photos of the Adirondack Lodge fire from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise:
The resort was built in 1882 as a private residence. In the 1950s, he said, the residence became the Lake Placid Manor and was later renamed the Lake Placid Lodge. It is currently owned by David and Christie Garrett, who also own The Point, another resort lodge located on Upper Saranac Lake.