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Rangers help hikers and boaters, combat fires

Ranger Report

Forest rangers with the state Department of Environmental Conservation participated in four wilderness rescues in the Adirondacks in the last week, and also helped extinguish two wildland fires north of the Adirondack Park boundary.

Lost in Dix Range

On June 7 at 1:12 a.m., DEC’s Central Dispatch received a call from New York State Police advising that they had received a call from a group of lost hikers. The hikers’ coordinates placed them on the Beck-Horn Peak heading toward Hough Mountain, near Dix Mountain in the High Peaks Wilderness, in the Essex County town of North Hudson. Forest Rangers Andrew Lewis and Logan Quinn responded and headed into the woods at 3:30 a.m.

The rangers located the group of four hikers from East Schodack at 9:16 a.m., gave them a preliminary medical check and began escorting them down the mountain. After one of the hikers exhibited signs of exhaustion, the rangers gave the hiker something to eat and drink, and time to warm up and rest. When the group reached the base of the mountain, they were met by Forest Rangers Art Perryman and Lt. Brian Dubay and driven to the trailhead. At 5:25 p.m., the hiking party, and rangers were out of the woods.

Exhausted hiker

On June 9 at 4:19 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the the AuSable Club guard shack about a hiker in distress. Another hiker reported a 22-year-old man from Oneonta was lying down on the trail, conscious but unable to continue due to exhaustion and possible dehydration.

Forest Ranger Kevin Burns responded to the AuSable Club and met with the reporting party. Together they continued by vehicle down the Lake Road to the entrance of the Beaver Meadow Falls Trail, where they found the hiker walking down the road. After an assessment, the hiker was transported by Burns back to his vehicle, where he advised he would seek medical attention on his own.

Hurt on Big Slide

On June 10 at 1:46 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a radio transmission from Johns Brook Outpost advising that a hiker had stopped to report a man injured on the trail going up Big Slide Mountain in the High Peaks Wilderness, in the town of Keene. Forest Ranger Lt. Julie Harjung requested New York State Police Aviation to assist with the rescue.

At 2:12 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to Dispatch from a member of the hiking party. The hikers reported that the 50-year-old man from Ballston Lake had slipped on a rock while hiking down the Slide Brook trail and suffered a non-weight-bearing injury to his right leg.

Per Harjung, Forest Ranger Chris DiCintio was flown to the Johns Brook Outpost while additional rangers remained at Marcy Field in Keene Valley in case of a carry-out rescue. Once at the outpost, DiCintio hiked up the trail, where he located the injured hiker. After splinting the man’s leg, the ranger helped move him to a suitable location for helicopter retrieval. Once the hiker was hoisted into the helicopter, he was flown to Marcy Field, where he was turned over to Keene Valley emergency medical services and transported to a local hospital.

Wildfire in Helena

On June 11 at 11 a.m., forest rangers were called regarding a possible wildland fire near the hamlet of Helena in northeastern St. Lawrence County. The fire was located by responding fire departments off county Route 53 in the Brasher State Forest, approximately a mile off the road along the bank of the St. Regis River. The intensity of the fire increased due to dry fuels and steady 15-20 mph winds.

ATVs, small brush trucks and two pumps were utilized by five fire departments and forest rangers to suppress the 0.75-acre fire.

Campers lose boat

On June 12 at 7:20 p.m., Hamilton County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting stranded boaters camping on Indian Lake islands. The campers were shuttling others from the boat launch to the island when the boat broke free of shore and floated away.

Forest Ranger Jason Scott responded to assist. When he arrived on scene, he found one camper at the boat launch waiting to be picked up, who was unaware of the situation. Scott gave the person a courtesy ride to the island and assisted the campers trying to locate the vessel. Unable to recover the aluminum boat, the group decided to remain on the island for the evening and contact a friend the next day to bring them back to shore and help locate the drifting boat. At 9:54 p.m., Scott was back on shore.

Wildfire in Ellenburg

On June 13 at 1:35 p.m., DEC’s Brook Dispatch received a call from Clinton County 911 reporting a wildland fire in a remote swampy area in Ellenburg Center. Forest Rangers Jared Booth and Tom Gliddi responded to assist the Ellenburg Center, Ellenburg Depot, Churubusco, Lyon Mountain, Altona, Mooers, and Champlain fire departments with suppression efforts.

Booth advised that the fire was contained at approximately 8 acres and would be placed in patrol status until completely extinguished.

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(Correction: An earlier version of this article had the incorrect headline, “Rangers help hikers and boaters to combat fires.” The Enterprise regrets the error.)

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