Ranger Report: Rangers rescue hikers, put out fire

This week, forest rangers with the state Department of Environmental Conservation helped several lost and injured hikers reach safety.

Despondent hiker

Last Wednesday at 4:37 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting a 24-year-old despondent man from New Jersey heading to the Siamese Pond Wilderness Area. Rangers Ian Kerr and Michael Thompson responded along with New York State Police and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department officers. The subject’s vehicle was located and rangers searched areas where he was likely to be found without success. The next morning, a command post was established at the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and search efforts continued with a team of six forest rangers. At 12:21 p.m., rangers located the man’s camp, but he wasn’t there. Two hours later, rangers found the subject and carried him out of the woods. He was transported to a medical facility for evaluation. Resources were clear from the scene at 5:12 p.m.

Burning tree

Last Thursday at 2:50 p.m., Hamilton County 911 received a report of a wildland fire in a tree at the end of Northpoint Road in Raquette Lake. Forest Ranger Scott Sabo responded and located a large, white pine snag (any dead or dying standing tree) with approximately 30 feet burned around the base. Ranger Melissa Milano responded to assist with fire suppression. Rangers extinguished the fire, likely caused by a lightning strike, by 5:50 p.m. Milano checked the fire the next day and found some warmth around the roots, but no active smoke or fire. Using hand tools, the ranger dug out the roots and put more water on the hot spots.

Bridge tumble

DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a radio call from the Johns Brook Lodge caretaker reporting that a 45-year-old woman from Pennsylvania had fallen off a bridge near the outpost in the High Peaks Wilderness Area and required medical assistance at 4:52 p.m. this past Friday. An assistant forest ranger responded to the hiker’s location. Rangers Robbi Mecus and Andrew Lewis responded with Essex County paramedics and the Keene Valley Fire Department to assist the hiker out of the woods. By 7:30 p.m., the woman was out of the woods and transported by ambulance for further medical care.

Hiker in distress

DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting a distressed hiker near MacIntyre Falls on the Algonquin Trail in the High Peaks Wilderness Area at 6:50 p.m. this past Friday. The 27-year-old man from Brooklyn was unprepared for the weather and requested assistance. Lt. Kevin Burns spoke with the hiker by phone and determined he needed ranger assistance to get out of the woods. The man was assisted by another hiker who volunteered to help him down the trail. Ranger Hannah O’Connor responded and met up with the distressed hiker and assisted him to his vehicle at the Adirondak Loj trailhead at 8:24 p.m.

Carry out rescue

On Saturday at 12:52 p.m., Lewis County 911 received a report of a 40-year-old kayaker from Attica with a knee injury on the Beaver River near Eagle Falls. The kayaker injured his knee while walking along the shoreline and was unable to put weight on it. Lewis County notified Forest Ranger Peter Evans who located a member of the kayaker’s group. Evans directed rescuers to the location.

The kayaker was packaged into a litter for a half-mile carry out to the trailhead. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Department, Lewis County Search and Rescue, Croghan Fire Department, and the kayaker’s group assisted with the carry out. The kayaker was transferred to an ambulance and transported to a local hospital. All responders were clear at 2:25 p.m.


DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch was called by a hiker reporting a 43-year-old woman from Morrisonville who had injured her ankle on the trail to Street and Nye mountains in the Eastern High Peaks at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Forest Ranger Peter Evans responded and located the injured woman, who was being helped down the trail by four hikers. Six additional rangers and two assistant forest rangers hiked in with rescue equipment. The woman was carried out to the trailhead and given a courtesy ride to a hospital. All resources were clear at 7:40 p.m.

Airlifted on Crane

On Saturday at 1:35 p.m., Warren County 911 advised DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch of a 38-year-old hiker from Albany with an ankle injury on Crane Mountain in the Wilcox Lake State Forest. Forest rangers Ian Kerr, Arthur Perryman, Logan Quinn, and an assistant forest ranger responded, along with Johnsburg Fire and Rescue. State Police aviation was requested. The hiker was hoisted into the State Police helicopter by Kerr, flown to a landing zone, and transferred to the Johnsburg Ambulance for transport to Glens Falls Hospital. Responders were clear of the scene at 6:40 p.m.


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