The Santa Barbara County Fire Department’s helicopter unit on Monday responded to two hiking incidents, one involving a group of tired, lost hikers who ran out of water and another involving a rattlesnake bite. No one was seriously injured in the incidents.
According to fire Capt. David Sadecki, a department spokesman, county fire personnel assisted four hikers who reported one of their party being dehydrated on the trail to Davy Brown Camp in Los Padres National Forest, about 22 miles north of Santa Ynez. An engine, battalion chief and helicopter responded at 4:42 p.m. Monday, with help from the U.S. Forest Service and a helicopter from CalStar, a nonprofit regional air ambulance service, Sadecki said.
Firefighters and paramedics were able to hike to and treat the party at the scene after a helicopter landed about a quarter-mile away. Three of the hikers, including the one reportedly suffering from dehydration, were flown to
Santa Ynez Airport, where the patient refused treatment and transportation to a hospital. The remaining hiker and two dogs were accompanied to the airport by by the Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Team.
At about the same time, the county fire officials received a call of a person bitten by a rattlesnake in the Red Rock campground area on the Santa Ynez River west of Gibraltar Reservoir. Firefighters and paramedics responded and treated the patient on the scene while the CalStar helicopter was en route from the other incident. The helicopter transported the patient to a hospital.