Coconino County Sheriff's Office Busy With Rescues As More People Head To The Woods

Published: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 1:34pm
Updated: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 1:35pm
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Coconino National Forest
Coconino National Forest.

As the weather warmed in northern Arizona this week and more people headed to the woods to self-isolate, many ran into trouble. Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team responded to back-to-back calls in a 24-hour period.  

On Wednesday night, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received two calls within 20 minutes of each other about an injured hiker in West Clear Creek Canyon and a stranded hiker near Sycamore Falls. Then a third call came in from the family of an overdue hunter in the Fredonia area. 

Deputy Paul Cliffton said all three were located or rescued with the help of six other agencies. Cliffton said never overestimate your abilities.

“Keep your risk level down because every time Search and Rescue has to respond, we’re not going to maintain our social distance. So it puts our volunteers, these are unpaid professional rescuers, unable to maintain their social distances,” Cliffton said.

Cliffton reminded people to research the area, check the weather, understand how to use a map or GPS device, and let someone know where you’re going, especially if there’s no cellphone coverage.

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