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Governor Hochul Welcomes Home New York State Firefighting Crew from KNP Complex Fire in California

October 5, 2021


Governor Kathy Hochul today welcomed home the crew of 20 New York State wildland firefighters led by Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers after a two-week assignment fighting the KNP Complex Fire in California. Last month, the Governor celebrated the return of a team of wildland firefighters deployed to the Greenwood Fire in Minnesota, and the return of DEC Forest Ranger Robbi Mecus after battling the Dixie Fire in California. In August, Forest Ranger Michael Burkholder returned from fighting the Alder Creek and Trail Creek fires in Montana. In July, Ranger Timothy Carpenter returned home after being deployed to the Bootleg Fire in Oregon.



As these firefighters return, DEC deployed a Forest Ranger to serve as a Task Force Leader and support efforts to contain the Dixie Fire in California for two weeks. The Dixie Fire started on July 13, and to-date has burned more than 963,309 acres, making it the single-largest wildfire in California history.


"This summer, wildland fires fueled by our changing climate have burned through communities and parks across the country, devastating hundreds of thousands of acres. New York's brave firefighters once again answered the call to help contain these fires and protect people and property,"

Governor Hochul said.



"I am so appreciative of the efforts of New Yorkers who run toward danger, rather than away from it, particularly when they know people's lives are on the line. I am proud of this team and happy to see them return home safe and sound."

In 1979, New York sent its first firefighting crew to assist western states with large wildfires. On average, one or two crews have been sent as needed to assist with wildfires every year since. In addition to helping contain wildfires and minimize damage, these crews gain valuable experience that can be utilized fighting wildfires and managing all-risk incidents in New York.




New York Pressroom

October 5, 2021

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