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Phoenix Fire pulls more hikers off trails in 2016 than last year

(Phoenix Fire Department Photo)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Fire Department has rescued more people off of Valley hiking trails this year than last year, officials said.

In an email, Phoenix Fire Capt. Reda Bigler said the department has conducted 225 mountain rescues since Jan. 1 this year. By this time last year, firefighters had pulled 216 people off a trail.

On Monday alone, four hikers had to be rescued from trails across the Valley.

But those people are expected to live. Several people, including a 12-year-old boy, have died on trails this summer.

Bigler said it’s important that hikers are not only prepared to head out into the summer heat when they hit the trails, but know the signs that signal their body has had too much.

“Whether you stop sweating, you’re thirsty, you’re nauseous, you have a headache; none of that stuff will go away very quick,” she said. “You’ve got to get into a cold environment. It can take hours, even days, to recover from something like that.”

Phoenix Parks and Recreation made a list of how hikers should prepare during the heat warning, if they insist on being outside.

Despite the uptick in rescues and the dangers, city officials decided against closing down trails during periods of extreme heat earlier this year.

KTAR’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.

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