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Hot Weather Leads to 2 Heat-Related Trail Rescues

Montecito fire officials remind hikers to be prepared when they venture into the backcountry

The Montecito Fire Protection District conducted two separate trail rescues Monday, after the victims suffered heat-related symptoms.

A 51-year-old man was riding a mountain bike on the Romero Canyon Trail when he called for help around 9:55 a.m. He was about a mile up from the trailhead, said district spokeswoman Geri Ventura.

Firefighters responded and contacted him at 10:26 a.m., then transported him off the trail in a pick-up truck, Ventura said.

In a separate incident, a 65-year-old woman was hiking with her husband and started to feel what she reported to be heat stroke.

They were about a half mile above the San Ysidro Trail waterfall and had no cell phone service, so a passing hiker ran farther down the trail to call 9-1-1 at 1:16 p.m.

Santa Barbara County’s Helicopter 308 responded and located the victim at 1:53 p.m., and the woman was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Ventura said.

Personnel from Los Padres National Forest, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, the Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue and AMR all responded to the incident.

“Many people underestimate the effects that high temperatures can have while exercising or while having other increased levels of physical exertion,” Ventura said.

Search and Rescue’s Nelson Trichler reminds hikers to keep the following in mind before heading to front country trails:

— Know where you are going. Know the name of the trail you will be hiking.

— Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.

— Hike with a buddy. Hiking alone, while peaceful and solitary, can cause difficulties should you become lost or injured.

— Take communication devices. A cell phone and a whistle are excellent forms of communication. Whistles are heard over greater distances than shouting and do not wear out your voice.

— Take the following essentials: water (1 quart per hour), food, map and compass, hiking plan left with a friend or in your car, flashlight, waterproof matches, fire starter, extra clothes, whistle, cell phone, knife, sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen, lip balm, lightweight pack to comfortably carry everything.

— Hiking with Dogs - Dogs can be wonderful trail companions but remember they need just as much, if not more, attention than humans, and they can overheat faster because they do not sweat. Take extra water for canine hiking companions, hike in the morning or evening, and be sure to rest the dogs if they show signs of overheating.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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