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Some Phoenix hiking trails to be restricted in extreme heat

A pilot program is now in place and select city hiking trails will be restricted during periods of extreme heat.

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board has approved a pilot program to restrict select city hiking trails during periods of extreme heat.

The pilot program will run from July 16 to September 30.

During that time, Camelback Mountain's Echo Canyon Trail and Cholla Trail and all trails associated with Piestewa Peak Trailhead in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve will be closed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on days when an excessive heat watch is in effect. 

Those locations were chosen for the pilot program based on the number of mountain rescues that occur there annually plus the difficulty rating of those trails and how that impacts the complexity of the rescues. 

The board's decision Tuesday was made out of concerns for the safety of the public and first responders. 

At Tuesday, public meeting, members of the United Phoenix Firefighters Association requested restrictions to three trailheads at Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak when outside temperatures reach 105 degrees. 

A dozen members of the Phoenix Fire Department's technical rescue team were sent home for heat-related injuries following multiple mountain rescues on June 16 in 115-degree conditions.

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