Number of Phoenix hiker rescues 21 percent higher than this time last year

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The Phoenix Fire Department has seen 3.5 more rescues in 2017 compared to this time last year. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Phoenix Fire Department has seen 3.5 more rescues in 2017 compared to this time last year. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The total number of hikers needing rescue this year from Phoenix mountain trails stands at 133 as of Tuesday evening. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The total number of hikers needing rescue this year from Phoenix mountain trails stands at 133 as of Tuesday evening. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The Phoenix Fire Department believes the pleasant spring we’ve had brought out more hikers, leading to more emergencies in general. It’s hard to say how many of those were heat-related. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Phoenix Fire Department believes the pleasant spring we’ve had brought out more hikers, leading to more emergencies in general. It’s hard to say how many of those were heat-related. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Hikers who enjoy hiking in the heat say people should know their limits. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Hikers who enjoy hiking in the heat say people should know their limits. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Up until this point, we've been blessed with a relatively mild spring. With steady triple digits in the forecast, rescue crews are ready for what that means.

They responded to two overheated hikers Tuesday, both before 9:30 in the morning.

One, to trail 100 near North Mountain where a 72-year-old woman had lost her way and was struggling with the heat.

At almost the same time on Cholla Trail on Camelback Mountain, a 50-year-old woman from out of town had overheated.

"And when you're from out of town, I don't think you have a way to know if you're acclimated and you're really prepared for your hike but if you're from here and you hike regularly, the message would be to hydrate the night before, know the trails that you're going on and just take baby steps for this,” said Capt. Reda Bigler with the Phoenix Fire Department.

That brings the total number of hikers needing rescue this year from Phoenix mountain trails to 133.

[RELATED: Phoenix fire crews rescue four separate hikers in one day]

This time last year they had 110.

The Phoenix Fire Department believes the pleasant spring we’ve had brought out more hikers, leading to more emergencies in general. It’s hard to say how many of those were heat-related.

Five times a week with her son Joseph on her back, avid hiker Michelle Mango climbs some of these same trails.

"If we get low on water we'll turn around and we just go slow and don't overdo it,” said Mango.

But even this team has its limits.

"105 (degrees) probably I won't come out here," said Mango.

That's when some hikers, like Jerry Strom, are just getting started.

"I like to go when it’s hot and not crowded," said Strom. “Know your limits, don't come out here if you're not in shape. Go easier at the start. Don't think you have to go to the top."

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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