Leaf blower used in hiking rescue on Mt. Israel

Nov. 6—Firefighters used a backpack leaf blower to clear the Wentworth Trail on Mount Israel in Sandwich during a rescue Saturday afternoon.

Christine Mellnick, 42, of Nashua, injured her ankle about 1.9 miles from the trailhead and was unable to walk. Multiple area fire departments and Fish and Game responded around 3 p.m. to help carry Mellnick out in a rescue litter, according to a news release.

The leaf blower was used to clear the trail of oak and beech leaves for about 1.1 miles of the trail to reduce slip hazards and help the crews navigate the rocky trail. The group arrived at the trailhead just after 7 p.m.

Along with Fish and Game, Sandwich, Moultonborough, Center Harbor, Tamworth, Tuftonboro, Meredith, Holderness, and Ashland fire departments, along with Stewart's Ambulance and Lakes Region Search and Rescue Team, also responded.

A friend drove Mellnick to the hospital, according to the news release.

Earlier in the day, around 1 p.m., Fish and Game was notified about an injured hiker on the Champney Falls Trail on Mount Chocorua. A minor had dislocated his knee while descending from the summit. He was more than 3 miles from the trailhead.

Along with Fish and Game, rescuers from SOLO Wilderness Medicine, Lakes Region Search and Rescue and the U.S. Forest Service responded.