Forest Ranger searches & rescues

State Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers worked on wildfires in both New York and California last week, while also helping lost and injured people in the Adirondack counties, including one hunter who spent four nights in the wilderness.

Town of Harrietstown

On Friday, Oct. 20, state police notified DEC dispatch of a 66-year-old Keeseville man who was three days overdue from a hunting trip in the High Peaks. The hunter had last been seen on Tuesday, Oct. 17, and rangers and volunteers began searching for the man that day near his campsite on Coreys Road.

On Saturday, Oct. 21, state police aviation assisted the rangers, along with volunteers from Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks (SARNAK) and the New York State Federation of Search and Rescue Teams. Shortly before 8 a.m., a search crew led by SARNAK heard the man calling for help from near Ampersand Brook. The hunter was located and escorted out to the road, where he was evaluated by the Tupper Lake volunteer rescue squad.

Town of Greenfield

After 11 p.m. on Oct. 21, forest ranger assistance was requested in the town of Greenfield in Saratoga County for a 12-year-old girl who had been last seen in the afternoon. Saratoga County sheriff’s deputies, state police and volunteers from Lower Adirondack Search and Rescue (LASAR) joined the effort.

By mid-morning on the 22nd, a state trooper was notified that the girl was in the area and then observed her enter a swampy area. Search efforts were redirected to that area, and the girl was located at noon. She was reunited with her family and evaluated by a local ambulance corps.

Town of Keene

Shortly before 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC dispatch about four women who were lost near Giant’s Washbowl in the Giant Mountain Wilderness. The women said they had become separated from two other members of their party.

GPS coordinates located two women on the trail while dispatch verified that the other two had already exited the woods and were safe. A ranger on scene made voice contact with the two lost women at 9:20 p.m. and then led them back to the trailhead, where the group was reunited.

Town of Indian Lake

Just before 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, a 20-year-old man who had been separated from his hunting party was reported lost.

Rangers arrived on scene before 2 p.m and made voice contact with the man at 2:40 p.m. The man was found in good health and escorted back to the trailhead, where he was reunited with his party.

Town of North Elba

At 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 21, a forest ranger notified DEC dispatch of an injured man at Scott’s Clearing in the High Peaks Wilderness. Three rangers responded via a state police helicopter, and two rangers were inserted into the wilderness near the man’s location.

The rangers hiked down to the man, evaluated and stabilized his injury before helping him to a spot where he could be hoisted into the helicopter. The man was flown to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid for further treatment.