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Rangers work to douse fires, rescue hikers … and help a pooch

Ranger Report

Forest rangers with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation responded to a variety of calls in the Adirondack Park in the past week, including a fire, a hiker with an ankle injury and a golden retriever suffering from heat exhaustion.

Fire in Thurman

On Wednesday, June 17 at 2 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Warren County 911 requesting forest ranger assistance with a wildfire in the town of Thurman. Rangers Chuck Kabrehl and Art Perryman responded and helped Thurman and Warrensburg fire departments quickly put out the fire that was threatening a structure on Dippikill Road.

An investigation determined that the fire was likely caused by an electric line that ran from a home to a barn on the property.

Hurt hiker airlifted

On Saturday, June 20 at 8:25 a.m., staff from the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Johns Brook Lodge contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch via radio reporting a 43-year-old male hiker from Rochester had an unstable ankle injury on the Phelps trail, descending from Little Marcy in the High Peaks Wilderness in the town of Keene. Forest Ranger Lt. Julie Harjung directed rangers to report to State Police Aviation in Lake Clear while additional rangers and an assistant forest ranger responded by hiking to the injured man’s location. One Forest Ranger was inserted on the summit of Mount Marcy by helicopter to look for the hiker.

Rangers hiking down the Phelps Trail located the hiker, assessed his injury and splinted his lower leg. Rangers radioed for a hoist extraction of the hiker, and the helicopter flew him to Marcy Field to be transported by emergency medical services to a local hospital.

Dog gets heat exhaustion

On Sunday, June 21 at 2:45 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker advising that they were coming down Giant Mountain when their 75-pound golden retriever collapsed about 1 mile from Chapel Pond parking lot. The hiking party had started their trip at approximately 7 a.m. up the Ridge Trail and neglected to bring enough water for the dog. About halfway up the trail, the dog began to struggle, and the group turned around to head back down. The dog collapsed from heat exhaustion just above the junction for the Ridge Trail and Giant’s Nubble.

An assistant forest ranger working in the area was notified and quickly found the distressed dog. The dog was carried to the Washbowl waterhole and placed in the water. After cooling the dog and giving it time to rest and rehydrate, the dog was able to make it back down the trail without further assistance.

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