... When was the last natural fire in the gunks?
Your are kidding right?
You have certainly lived along the ridge long enough to remember the Overlook Fire along Rt. 44/55 west of Minnewaska? April 17 to 21, 2008? www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/galle...n=desktop#img-6
This wildfire burned for 4 days and had many land managers and home owners very concerned.
Then we remember what happened to Wildmere and Cliff House at the old Minnewaska Hotel Resort? Though arson isn't "natural", that fire could have been even more devastating to the ridge environs if not for the strong response of multiple companies of fire fighters, the hotel's road network allowing for the access of fire trucks, and forming fire breaks, and the close proximity of a ready source of water.
On two occasions during my early climbing years at the Gunks, ranger Thom Schuer stopped at the Uberfall and recruited us to assist in the fighting of brush fires along Overcliff Rd.
I can't imagine that over the years, there have not been more wildfires.