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State Forest Rangers seek policy changes following Canadian wildfire experience

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

After aiding in efforts to combat record-breaking wildfires in Canada this summer, New York Forest Rangers are urging state lawmakers to enhance preparedness for similar events at home.

Dry conditions and high temperatures fueled wildfires across Canada, scorching over 27 million acres and significantly reducing air quality in the state.


Regular controlled burns can minimize fuel load and reduce the destructiveness of potential wildfires, according to officials.

This suggestion comes with additional backing from PBA members, who are also advocating for a dedicated fund to increase the number of rangers sent to manage large-scale fires and improve wildland firefighting equipment.


The experiences of the rangers in Canada provided them with invaluable training and insight, according to Rob Praczkajlo, a state PBA forest ranger.

Despite a lack of data indicating an increasing trend of wildfires in New York, officials plan to discuss lessons learned in Canada with state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos, highlighting the need for proactive measures in anticipation of potential climate change impacts.