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DEC Sending Personnel Out West to Help With Forest Fires


DEC Forest Rangers and expert wildland firefighters are being deployed to assist with efforts to contain the Ridge Creek Fire in the Idaho panhandle and the Niarada Fire in northwestern Montana. The latest Forest Ranger deployments come as a team of DEC engineers recently returned from performing dam safety inspections in Vermont after being directed by Governor Kathy Hochul to assist in the recovery from the devastating flooding that inundated the Northeast last month.

“New York State is known for lending a helping hand and providing resources to others when disaster strikes and DEC’s Forest Rangers, engineers, and other expert staff continue to stand ready to assist our neighbors,” New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “New York is no stranger to the destruction wrought by extreme weather, climate change, and forest fires, and I applaud the selfless acts of those willing to step up and assist others in times of need.”

New York State often deploys highly trained wildland firefighters to help battle wildfires as part of interstate and international firefighting compacts. The DEC Forest Ranger assisting in Montana will serve as a Task Force Leader and help coordinate the response to a fire that is currently estimated at 10,400 acres and zero percent contained. The fire on Bureau of Indian Affairs lands 12 miles west of Elmo, Montana, is currently threatening several structures. A pair of Rangers are also deploying to Idaho to assist with efforts to contain the Ridge Creek Fire north of Coeur D’alene.

DEC Forest Rangers have deployed three times this summer to assist with efforts to help contain wildfires in Canada, where more than 4,000 fires have burned an estimated 23.7 million acres.

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