DUGAS -- Saturday about 10:45 p.m., Yavapai Sheriff's Office were advised that two hikers were lost in the Pine Mountain area. The Pine Mountain trailhead is at Salt Flats near Dugas. A witness called the Sheriff's Office saying he had seen the two men about 3:45 p.m. and realized they had not returned to camp. He told dispatchers the pair were wearing only t-shirts with short pants and carrying a small supply of water.
Just before 1 a.m. the following morning, the wife of one of the missing hikers also called YCSO and deputies were given a cell phone number to contact the hikers. 20 minutes later, deputies spoke briefly with one of the missing hikers on the only cell phone in their possession. Deputies confirmed the hikers, aged 23 and 24 from the Phoenix area, were lost with no food or warm clothing, and a cell phone battery about to expire. Fortunately neither had medical conditions. The pair could not locate a trail because of the darkness. Dispatchers were able to get GPS coordinates for their location from the cell call. It was determined the pair was over 2 miles from where their vehicle was parked.
As daylight broke, attempts to reach the hikers by cell phone failed. It was assumed the battery had expired and as a result, no further GPS coordinates would be available. The Forest Patrol deputy called out the Backcountry Unit from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Response Team (YCSRT) for ground searching along with the deployment of Rescue 1.
Just after 10 a.m., Rescue 1 was overhead and by 10:25 AM, the Rescue 1 crew located both hikers and provided exact GPS coordinates to the Backcountry team. The missing hikers were eventually contacted on the ground and escorted to base camp. Neither hiker required medical attention.
Lessons learned --- Avoid starting a hike later in the day when nightfall is expected soon and if lost, remain stationary and let rescue teams come to you.
Two hikers rescued from West Fork
OAK CREEK CANYON -- Two hikers, a 17 year old and one 20 year old man from Scottsdale, were rescued by Coconino Sheriff's Office crews late Saturday after they found themselves in darkness with no flashlights or other lights.
About 8:43 p.m., the Coconino SO got a call from the Sedona Fire District. According to a SFD dispatcher, she got a 911-emergency call from the hikers stranded in the West Fork of the Oak Creek in extremely dark conditions and no moon. The Fire Dispatcher was able to determine the GPS coordinates for the cell phone.
Furnished with the coordinates, a team of a Sheriff's deputy, a Search and Rescue Coordinator and a Search Volunteer and hiked approximately two miles past the trailhead to the victims' location. Rescuers reached the victims at about 11:10 p.m. and provided each with a flashlight. The rescuers then accompanied the two hikers back to the trailhead.
The Sheriff's Office advises hikers to carry the 10 essentials: extra water, food, warm clothing, navigation equipment, a headlamp or flashlight, a first aid kit, shelter material, a fire starting kit, a pocket knife, and signaling equipment like a signal mirror and whistle.
These are important tools to help you stay safe in the outdoors and to aid searchers in locating you. During the summer months, extreme caution with fire is urged in order to prevent a wildfire.
Improperly installed heater causes fire
COTTONWOOD -- Two Verde Valley fire engines were dispatched to a report of smoke beneath a mobile home Friday afternoon at 2316 Posse Trail in Verde Village Unit 1.
The first crew found a single-wide mobile that occupants had already evacuated. When the skirting was removed, smoke was found rising from beneath the unit underneath the water heater and the incident was became "a working fire." Crew members quickly extinguished visible fire, and began exposing the sub flooring from the trailer and removed the mobile home siding near the water heater.
The water heater was drained and removed. Beneath the heater there was significant heat damage that was declared the cause since it had no legs attached, instead was sitting directly on the metal base. TIPS and Red Cross assisted with renters needs and made arrangements for a place to stay
These units are designed with small metal legs so the heat from the bottom of the heater can circulate air.
Motorcycles brush near curve
JEROME -- Two motorcycles got too close while passing Saturday afternoon near the Jerome Gulch curve at the old Mohawk gas station. The bikes went down about 1:30 p.m. There were three passengers on the two motorcycles with a couple on the bike headed uphill and one passenger on the down hill motorcycle.
Two patients were transported to VVMC after the crash.