Team of New York Forest Rangers Return From Western Wildfires
You don't hear much about it, but New York is sending crews to assist with all the wildfires in the western U.S. In fact a crew of thirteen just returned after more than two weeks of battling the blazes.
New York sent a crew boss, nine Forest Rangers trained in firefighting, and members of other DEC programs to join federal, state, and local fire agencies battling the many wildfires out west. Some members tried to maintain control lines in Gibbons, South Dakota. Others assisted with fighting fires at the August Complex and Castle fire in California, and the Williams Fork fire in Colorado.
Members of the returning crew are:
- Robert Praczkajlo, Forest Ranger, Crew Boss, Essex and Franklin counties
- Brendan Aschmutat, DEC Division of Fish and Wildlife, Saratoga County
- Aimee Bills, Forest Ranger, Herkimer and Oneida counties
- Michael Giocondo, DEC Forester, Lewis County
- Joseph Hess, Forest Ranger, Saratoga County
- Captain Jaime Laczko, Forest Ranger, DEC Central Office
- David Nally, Forest Ranger, Fulton County
- Hannah O'Connor, Forest Ranger, Warren County
- Jeremy Oldroyd, Forest Ranger, Broome and Chenango counties
- Kyle Olson, DEC Division of Fish and Wildlife, Tompkins County
- John Rusher, Forest Ranger, Ulster County
- Neilson Snye, DEC Division of Operations, Franklin County
- Daniel Wehn, DEC Division of Environmental Remediation, Fulton County
They were the third New York crew to assist with the fires, a fourth crew is already deployed to the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center in Denver.