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WiseFool 05-08-2011 08:12 PM

Pharaoh Lake Lean-to #6
2 Attachment(s)
... And it's not even Memorial Day yet:

Pumpkin QAAD 05-08-2011 08:18 PM

I had a similar experience regarding the trash but that is one of the most egregious fire pits I have ever seen.

Deb dePeyster 05-08-2011 09:47 PM


rADK 05-08-2011 10:45 PM

I used to refuse to go there.. But after seeing this, I think I'd like to go, and see if I can catch them in the act.

dundee 05-09-2011 02:30 AM

Which LT was this, east or west shore? Close to the outlet?

This is another reason to close the road at the Wilderness boundary.

WiseFool 05-09-2011 09:22 AM


Originally Posted by dundee (Post 170070)
Which LT was this, east or west shore? Close to the outlet?

#6 (1st lean-to on the west side, near the outlet)

TCD 05-09-2011 10:25 AM

If someone has a couple IR flash game cameras, they might hide one at the LT and hide another at the trailhead. Might be enough info in those to provide to authorities...

Glen 05-13-2011 04:06 PM

Nobody is afraid of getting caught because nobody ever patrols.

bachand 05-14-2011 12:27 PM

I was just there this past weekend. Wanted to provide a little clarity to the pictures. At first I thought this was a large fire pit that someone had created. It's not. It's the entire lean-to, burned to the ground.
What kind of person has the hatered to do something like this? I was struggling with this question while I was out there. To get logs that size to burn to ash requires a huge fire. This is not an accident. I would think even building a fire inside the lean-to would not get the logs to burn that hot. Gasoline? Dismantling the roof? What kind of a person would go through the effort required to do something like this? It just doesn't make sense to me. I am certainly glad I did not come upon the people in the about not feeling safe on the woods after running into someone like that.


EagleCrag 05-14-2011 12:51 PM

That sure is sickening. I wonder if it could have been an errant cigarette but or something. Maybe left a stove burning while they stepped away or something. Heck, the woods aren't even dry. You can see the scorch marks on the trees all around. Did you report this to the DEC?

Gray Ghost 05-14-2011 05:15 PM

The DEC is aware...i saw the story on this website:

scroll past the turkey kills...

rADK 05-15-2011 10:12 AM


I can't imagine it being on purpose. Just going by the odds...there are a lot more careless people in the world than there are malicious. Especially this malicious.

In the video above he says it looks like the campfire was made outside the fire-pit, closer to the lean-to. The firepit is so far away, I can see how people would be tempted to do this in the cold spring camping weather. I've slept outside lean-tos to be closer to the fire before, it looks like they were dumb and did the opposite.

Anyway, I think an investigation will pretty easily find out if it was arson or not.

Vermont Scott 05-15-2011 11:07 AM

Really sad to see this. I love the Pharaoh Lake region but I have run into a few irresponsible and inconsiderate people in there and a lot of nice people. I'd like to think the fire was an accident as well but who knows? One thing is certain, if this had happened during a dry spell it could have been much, much worse.

Gray Ghost 05-15-2011 11:07 AM


(5/3) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking information regarding a suspicious fire that destroyed a lean-to on the shores of Pharaoh Lake in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. The fire occurred sometime during the night on Sunday, April 16. Pharaoh Lake Lean-to #6, which is located on the north shore of lake approximately a half mile from the lake’s outlet, burned to ground. DEC Environmental Conservation Police Investigators are seeking any information leading to the cause of the fire and those responsible. Investigators are interested in speaking with a man and women that may have been camping at the lean-to that night. Any information regarding this couple is also being sought.

Replacing the lean-to will depend on the ability to allocate funds and labor resources. It costs approximately $7,000 in materials for a lean-to, which does not include the labor time and costs to transport materials to the site, prepare the site and construct the lean-to. Currently the lean-to site is closed. DEC plans to clean up the site, remove the debris and rubbish, and take down or trim trees that were scorched by the fire. Once the site is cleaned up, the public will be allowed to camp at this location until a replacement lean-to is constructed.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the DEC Dispatch at 1-877-457-5680.

They obviously had some type of heat source inside/close to the lean-to. I hope it was accidental, but there are rednecks who fire rifles near people's campsites, illegally bait and ice fish, and just abuse the area far too frequently. I'm betting it was someone of this character that was responsible, "accidental" or not. I would think it's hard to burn down a lean-to by accident, but maybe I'm wrong.

fvrwld 05-15-2011 01:09 PM

I cannot think of any way that this could have been by accident. That can was shot up and sitting on top of the burnt remains? I hope they got prints off of it. It really pisses me off to think that these a-holes sat around and drank beers watching the lean-to burn. Idiots. Too bad they weren't in it.

That area is over-used and abused. Sad...its such a beautiful spot.

WiseFool 05-22-2011 06:56 PM


Originally Posted by fvrwld (Post 170315)
I cannot think of any way that this could have been by accident. That can was shot up and sitting on top of the burnt remains?

I put the can there to compose the photo. It was laying beside the remains.

Nearby, there were also the remains of those small, propane fuel canisters lying around, -one or two if I recall. They were charred. Might have had something to do with it.

T46pks 05-26-2011 09:14 PM

Sad, I've camped up there in the past, beautiful spot. I hope they catch whomever did this. Clearly not an accident. Lean tos are hard enough to burn down as it is, let alone during one of the wettest springs the region has seen in a long time.

DSettahr 05-31-2011 04:08 PM

That's too bad. And I hadn't stayed in that one yet, either!

I find it hard to believe that lean-tos can just "catch fire" by accident. Either intentional actions or a lot of stupidity (building a fire too close) would be needed to result in the complete torching of a lean-to. Wood that is several inches thick doesn't just "catch" fire from an errant cigarette- there's not enough energy present in the cigarette for that to happen.

Justin 05-31-2011 04:58 PM

This thread is like a dagger through my heart!
It really hurts!

I don't have any doubt that this was the result of a few drunk ignorant a-holes.

Lean-to abuse seems like it is at an all time high.
I know that Pharaoh Lake is a very popular destination and it has seen it's share of abuse for a very long time now, but this is absolutely ridiculous.
Something has to be done to stop the ever escalating illegal use of state land.

It never gets any better, only worse and worse.

DSettahr 05-31-2011 05:05 PM


Originally Posted by Glen (Post 170253)
Nobody is afraid of getting caught because nobody ever patrols.

The state is hiring Assistant Rangers again this summer, so there will be a greater uniformed presence in the backcountry.

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