Heat-related illnesses spike in first hot week of 2017

Ready or not, the 90s are here and instances of heat related illness are on the rise at spring training games.

PHOENIX - Valley emergency responders have been called to 29 heat-related illness calls in the first two weeks of March, officials said Tuesday.

12 of those were on Monday at the Los Angeles Angels spring training game, Tempe fire officials confirmed. 

Temperatures have been abnormally high, reaching past 90 degrees for the last few days. That's nowhere near the highest temperatures of the year for the Phoenix area, but it's warmer than some people expect, officials said. 

"We don't pay attention to it because we do not think that it's hot," Phoenix Fire Cpt. Reda Bigler said. 

But instead of the heat being the only culprit, Bigler said heat stroke usually begins long before you head to a baseball game or outdoor activity. She said dehydration usually starts the night before, either from alcohol consumption or just not consuming enough water.

"Becoming dehydrated, getting heat craps which evolves into heat exhaustion," Bigler said. "Once you're already there, it's hard to catch up."

Monday also saw the Valley's first mountain rescue involving a heat-related illness, Bigler said. A woman was rescued off the Cholla Trail on Camelback Mountain, fire officials said.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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