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For Release: Tuesday, November 17, 2020

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Recent Forest Ranger Actions

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. 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 across New York State.

In 2019, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 337 search and rescue missions, extinguished 74 wildfires that burned a total of 212 acres, participated in 29 prescribed fires that burned and rejuvenated 645 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in 2,507 tickets or arrests.

"DEC celebrates our 50th anniversary this year, but our Forest Rangers have been on the front lines for even longer, protecting New York's wildlife, natural resources, residents, and visitors for more than a century," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "The State's brave Forest Rangers have a vast knowledge of first aid, land navigation, and technical rescue techniques that are critical to the success of their missions in remote wilderness areas, rugged mountainous peaks, white water rivers, frozen lakes, and forested areas statewide. We are proud of the work our Forest Rangers perform and look forward to another 50 years and beyond of highly trained service."

Town of Ramapo
Rockland County
Wildland Fire:
On Nov. 9, Region 3 Forest Rangers were notified of a wildland fire off Old Route 17 in the village of Hillburn. Forest Ranger Lt. Ashida and Forest Rangers Jahn, Parlier, Cowart, and Rusher responded to assist several Rockland, Orange, and Bergen county fire departments with fire control. The fire was initially reported as five to 30 acres in size by the Rockland County Emergency Coordinator, but later determined by Forest Ranger Jahn to be 43 acres. Precipitation helped with the suppression effort and the fire was declared out on Nov. 10.

two rangers in the woods using tools to put out fires as smoke rises
Wildland Fire in village of Hillburn

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
On Nov. 10 at 4:36 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch reporting an 84-year-old male hiker from Rochester with chest pains on Mt. Jo. Forest Ranger Lt. Burns and Forest Ranger van Laer responded, along with the Lake Placid Fire Department and Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service. The hiker was treated by Lake Placid EMS and assisted to the ambulance. Forest Rangers were clear of the scene at 6 p.m.

Town of Dresden
Washington County
Wilderness Rescue:
On Nov. 14 at 12:30 p.m., Washington County 911 transferred a call to DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a hiker with a non-weight bearing knee injury on the trail near the summit of Black Mountain. Forest Rangers Baker, O'Connor, Donegan, Bode, and Hess responded, along with Dresden Fire Department and Skenesborough EMS, to the trailhead. Forest Ranger Donegan was the first on scene with the 46-year-old woman from South Glens Falls and requested the assistance of NYSP Aviation. Forest Ranger DiCintio responded to the Schroon Airfield, and at 4:48 p.m., advised that he linked up with NYSP Aviation and was en route to the hiker's location. At dusk, NYSP Aviation performed a power-on landing at the summit of Black Mountain and the injured woman was loaded into the helicopter. The hiker was flown to a local airport where she was turned over to an ambulance for transport to the hospital for medical treatment.

a helicopter in the dark night sky with lights on
Wilderness Rescue in Dresden

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC's Hike Smart NY and Adirondack Backcountry Information webpage for more information.

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