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Santa Barbara County Fire sees increase in hiker rescues during heatwave

Posted at 5:18 PM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 23:33:11-04

As a result of high temperatures, local authorities are urging the public to reconsider going out for a hike this week.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department says crews have been consistently responding to hillside rescues this summer, with a noticeable recent uptick in calls from distressed hikers in comparison with other times of the year.

Public information officer to the department, Captain Scott Safechuck, says that event those in the best physical condition are still not immune to heat exhaustion and dehydration when out on the trails.

"It sounds like a bold statement, but I want to say, 'Don't go hiking!'" Safechuck said emphatically. "This is not the time during a heatwave to go hiking, and you are exacerbating the system, and we just want to make sure that everyone has a safe week, and everyone makes it together through this heatwave."

Safechuck says if you are adamant about hiking this week, it is crucial that you carry plenty of water with you and take time to rest in the shade when you are able.