Rangers rescue hikers, battle fires as summer season heats up

State Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers have been kept busy with wildfires, searches and rescues around the Adirondacks.

Town of North Elba

On Tuesday, May 8, DEC dispatch in Ray Brook received a request for help from two women lost in the McKenzie Wilderness Area. The 18-year-old from Argyle and the 22-year-old from Gansevoort became disoriented while descending Haystack Mountain.

A ranger spoke with the women on the phone and gave them directions, but the women went the opposite way. The ranger told them to stay put and located the pair at about 8 p.m. They were escorted back to their car in good health.

Town of North Hudson

On Tuesday, May 8, forest rangers responded to reports of a wildfire just off Interstate 87 in the Dix Mountain Wilderness. The fire was inaccessible to local departments.

By Thursday, May 10, rangers had contained the fire to 26.5 acres. The DEC said the fire is believed to have been started by lightning.

Town of Indian Lake

At 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, rangers responded to a call from Hamilton County 911 about a man who was suffering seizures on the John’s Pond Trail.

Rangers, Blue Mountain Lake fire department and Inlet EMS reached the man by 1:30 p.m. After the man was rehydrated, he was transported back to the trailhead, where he refused further medical treatment.

Town of North Elba

In the evening of Saturday, May 12, rangers received a call for help from three hikers in Avalanche Pass. The hikers had climbed Wright and Algonquin mountains, gotten cold and wet at higher elevations, and were unprepared to spend a night in the woods.

A ranger intercepted the group as they struggled to get to Adirondak Loj. The ranger provided minor first aid, and the group made it back to the parking lot two hours after their initial call.

Town of Edwards

On Sunday, May 13, six rangers assisted 50 firefighters from four county departments with a wildfire at a residence where garbage was being burned.

By the end of the day, 68 acres had burned and the fire was 60 percent contained with no damage to buildings or injuries to people. The next day, rangers returned to help develop a containment line. DEC said that no further spreading of the fire is expected and the incident is under investigation.