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Rescue crews warn hikers of dangers exercising in extreme heat

Crews have been working to keep people safe while they find ways to stay active during the pandemic.

ARIZONA, USA — Summer 2020 has been a record-breaking year for high heat in the Valley. Not only are temperatures breaking records set years ago, but setting new ones almost every day. 

Rescue crews have had an influx of calls to save hikers who become overwhelmed with the high heat. On Sunday, four separate rescue operations took place in different locations throughout the Valley. 

Two hikers in their 20s called rescue crews around 10 a.m. because they were experiencing the severe consequences of not preparing properly for the weather. They were about 5 miles from the beginning of the Bell Road Mountain trail. 

"One of them had extreme heat exhaustion," Captain David Folio of the Scottsdale Fire Department said.

Bell Road was just one scary hiking incident of the day. Hikers also required assistance at Echo Canyon, Glendale Mountain and Piestewa Peak. 

Folio said that there are ways for hikers to properly prepare for outdoor activities during the extreme summer months. 

"Make sure you're hydrating your body, prior to going hiking. That's huge," he said. 

Folio also said that wearing proper clothing, shoes and hats while also having a map are all ways to avoid possible dangers. 

If hikers do become incapacitated or feel like they need assistance from rescue teams, Folio said cell phones are a huge help for locating people quickly and efficiently. 

"While we're going we can make a decision of whether to launch this drone or we can ping your phone and decide whether you're too far in and we can't hike in to get you, we need to send more help with a helicopter," he said. 

Proper precautions and awareness of surroundings are the best ways to ensure personal safety and safety of others during outdoor activities.