We're in the middle of heat wave here in the valley and that means dangerous conditions for hikers heading out on local trails. Over the weekend there were several rescues and tonight search crews are asking you to be prepared if you hike in the heat.
On Sunday afternoon near Desert Hot Springs, a 73 year hiker needed to be airlifted off of a trail and treated by paramedics. And earlier that day a 65 year old hiker had to be rescued by firefighters. Paramedics think she collapsed from the intense heat, temps nearing 100 degrees.
“It was a hot weekend.”
Riverside County Search and Rescue President Kevin Wahlstrom says this heat wave so early in the year can be dangerous for hikers.
“Everyone's anticipating cool weather.”
And search and rescue crews say the biggest problem with this heat is most hikers don't bring enough water and many run out along the trail. And that means hikers are more likely to get dehydrated.
“Dehydration can kill you. Your skin gets pale, heart rate slows down. Get them in the shade and give them water.”
And besides carrying extra water, Wahlstrom has some other simple tips for hikers heading out in the heat. He says brings an accurate trail map, a compass and always tell someone your exact route. He also says despite what you might think, it's actually better to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts.
“You want long sleeves, so you don't get burned, taking more water from your body.”
Wahlstrom says there were at least five hikers rescued from desert trails over this last weekend and he's expecting more rescues if this heat wave continues.