WEBB, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Last week, Forest Ranger staff from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation responded to a reported campground fire in the area of Alger Island in Herkimer County. The source of the fire was a lean-to that had caught ablaze due to proximity to a nearby unattended fire and was ultimately declared a total loss.

The Alger Island Caretaker contacted forest rangers early on the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 2. Ranger McCartney responded with a lieutenant and members of the Old Forge Fire Department. The fire was brought under control within a half hour, but the lean-to was declared a total loss at the scene.

The fire was not declared fully out until Wednesday afternoon. Rangers determined that the fire began as a campfire, left unattended by the owner of the lean-to, and then spread to the structure when left unwatched for an unspecified amount of time.

The DEC sent out a reminder on Wednesday reminding campers to never leave a fire unattended in any forest. Fires can spread without help from heavy wind if started in places where trees or structures are close enough to catch the heat. Campers should always drown campfires with water when finished using them, in order to ensure that any and all hot spots are fully and completely extinguished.

Alger Island Campground is a state-owned campground on Fourth Lake, part of the Fulton chain of lakes. It is flanked to the east by the town of Eagle Bay, and to the west by the town of Old Forge.