One hiker died and five others were rescued after suffering extreme heat in Arizona on Monday when temperatures reached well above 100 degrees, officials said.
According to fire and police officials, the group “ran out of water and got lost” while hiking the Spur Cross Trail, about 35 miles north of Phoenix.
The maximum temperature in Phoenix on Monday was 109 degrees Fahrenheit, six degrees above the normal temperature for the date, according to the National Weather Service in Phoenix. Most western states have been hit by an extreme heatwave for at least six days, which may last through the end of the week. More than 41 million people in Arizona, California and Nevada were warned of excessive heat on Wednesday.
An adult man was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. The hiker has been identified as Evan Dishion, 32.
The group was rescued from the trail by helicopter, officials said.
“It’s important to plan your hike, hike the plan, bring plenty of water, and know how to recognize heat exhaustion,” the Scottsdale Fire Department said on Twitter.
Authorities across the west have had a busy few days rescuing and searching hikers. On Sunday, a 70-year-old male hiker was rescued after becoming lost in the White Tank Mountains, a mountain range in central Arizona. Authorities in Santa Barbara County, California are continuing the search for a male hiker, who was last seen hiking with his girlfriend on Sunday. And on Tuesday, officials in California rescued a 27-year-old woman who broke both legs in a fall while hiking northeast of Sacramento.
Hiking experts suggest a number of reminders and tips before setting out on a hike, including packing a paper map and compass as a backup for cell phones and GPS devices.
Jennifer Pharr Davis, a professional hiker, said to listen to your body when hiking in extreme heat. In an emergency, she advises sending someone who is fine and has enough water to fetch more, and to sit in a nearby stream if you feel overheated.
If that’s not possible, “at least sit in the shade until someone can get help,” she said. “If you’re hiking alone, bring lots and lots of water.” She recommends taking a liter of water with you for every two-hour hike you plan to do, and increasing this to a liter and a half in extreme heat.