ALBANY — A third Department of Environmental Conservation crew is traveling to Denver, where they will be assigned to assist firefighting efforts underway in western states and two additional DEC Forest Rangers are being deployed to fight wildland fires in California.
New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo also welcomed home the state’s second team of 10 DEC Forest Rangers, staff, and volunteers, including Robert Rogers, Forest Ranger from Cattaraugus County.
The crew has been helping battle and contain wildland fires raging in western states for the past two weeks. These trained, expert firefighters helped battle the Cameron Peak Fire near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. Governor Cuomo also welcomed home three additional DEC Forest Rangers who assisted wildland firefighting efforts in California and Oregon.
“We’ve all seen the devastation these wildfires have had on thousands of families out west who have lost everything,” Cuomo said. “I’m proud that these brave New Yorkers stepped up and traveled to the front lines to help suppress these fires before more homes and lives are lost. These brave men and women are the very definition of New York Tough.”
The returning New York crew joined federal, state, and local fire agencies battling the Cameron Peak Fire in Colorado, which is about 20 percent contained. They were tasked with securing control lines. In addition, three DEC Forest Rangers assisted in fighting fires in California and Oregon. One Ranger was assigned to the Fork Fire burning in California’s El Dorado National Forest. Another Ranger helped fight flames in the Valley Fire in rural eastern San Diego County, and the third served as Task Force Leader for operations related to the Slater Fire in Oregon.
All personnel and travel expenses for the New York crews are either paid directly by the U.S. Forest Service or reimbursed to New York State based on a mutual aid agreement between states and federal land agencies.