Seven New York State Forest Rangers with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) volunteered to help battle over 2,600 wildfires in Canada and returned home on Sunday, June 25, after a two-week deployment.
The team, which included Ranger Chester Lunt from Region 7, worked tirelessly in Quebec to suppress multiple wildfires, marking the first deployment of New York State Forest Rangers to Canada since wildfires in Quebec in 2005.
Expressing his admiration for the volunteers, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “I’m just so proud of the work that they do all the time, whether it’s here in New York, whether it’s in our sister states or provinces, just really helping to lead DEC’s mission and really put public health as a priority while putting themselves always in the line of fire.” The other Forest Rangers who volunteered for the mission were Matthew Adams, Anastasia Allwine, Christopher Pelrah, Robert Praczkajlo, William Roberts, and Howard Thomes.
The volunteer rangers spoke highly of their experience, highlighting the opportunity for personal growth, gaining knowledge about wildfire control, and the sense of purpose derived from assisting others.
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