Acreage ignited amid high fire danger in Adirondacks
By Mike Lynch
A fire east of Schroon Lake in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness has been fully contained, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Forest rangers have been battling the blaze since Sunday, when two flew to the scene by helicopter. DEC estimated the fire to be five to six acres in size at its biggest.
As of Friday, the fire was on patrol status, which means it’s contained but being watched in case it reignites. Rangers will monitor the area at least through the weekend.
Each day, the crew battling the fire included a combination of two to nine rangers and four other DEC-trained firefighters.
The blaze likely started from an unattended campfire, according to the DEC, although the eruption wasn’t near designated campsites, trails, other backcountry infrastructure or towns.
Terrain presented a challenge for the firefighters as the fire occurred on a ledge at an elevation of 300 feet. Rangers used water to fight it, but also dug a trench around the perimeter to prevent spread.
There are currently six fires considered active throughout the state, covering a total of 17.4 acres. No other fires are in the Adirondacks.
The 46,283-acre Pharaoh Lake Wilderness is located in the eastern Adirondacks. The DEC website says it “contains an abundance of lakes and ponds, especially in the northern portion. The namesake Pharaoh Lake, at 441 acres, is one of the largest lakes in the Adirondacks completely surrounded by Forest Preserve lands.”
DEC continues to urge people to be safe when building campfires. Dry weather in June and July has increased the risk of fires. More information about how to reduce the risk of wildfires can be found at DEC’s website.