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Rescue officials ask hikers to put safety first this Memorial Day weekend

A hiker ascends the summit trail on Piestewa Peak in Phoenix.
A hiker ascends the summit trail on Piestewa Peak in Phoenix.(Cronkite News)
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 12:48 PM MST
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FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Memorial Day weekend is finally here, and officials are asking hikers to prioritize safety and hydration as they venture out onto trails and into the sun.

In Coconino County over the past week, two search and rescue missions were deployed for hikers suffering from heat-related illnesses. On Sunday around 4:30 p.m., the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and Sedona Fire assisted hikers on the Huckaby Trail. One person needed intravenous rehydration. On Thursday around 1:30 p.m., search and rescue personnel responded to two crisis calls in Sedona, one for a lost and dehydrated hiker on the Sterling Pass Trail and another for two hikers who got stranded on a ledge near Casner Cabin Draw. Both rescues required the use of a DPS Air Rescue helicopter and a ground crew.

In Maricopa County, Scottsdale Fire Technical Rescue crews responded to at least two heat-related calls involving hikers just this week.

Search and rescue teams are asking hikers to avoid their outdoor treks between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Even if going out before the heat of the day kicks in, hikers are still advised to pack plenty of water and food, instead of relying on creeks, streams, and other natural sources for refreshment. Also wear light and loose sweat-wicking clothing, along with a hat and sunscreen.

Over one-quarter of Arizona is now considered to be in an extreme drought condition.

When in doubt of your physical condition or if your water hits the halfway point while you’re hiking, safety officials ask that you turn around in order to assure a safe return to your vehicle or destination. For more safety tips, check out Phoenix Fire and the City of Phoenix’s “Take a Hike. Do It Right” infographic below.

The City of Phoenix and Phoenix Fire designed this graphic to remind hikers to put safety first...
The City of Phoenix and Phoenix Fire designed this graphic to remind hikers to put safety first when venturing out.(City of Phoenix, Phoenix Fire Department)