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44 hikers rescued following trek in metro Phoenix area

PHOENIX – Authorities say that 44 hikers needed to be rescued because of heat related illness, while two were flown out via helicopter after their group attempted to climb a mountain trail in the desert near metro Phoenix.

The Superstition Fire & Medical District said several hikers were overcome Thursday by the heat, which reached 106 degrees in nearby Apache Junction.

The district said rescue personnel and Lost Dutchman State Park rangers helped most of the hikers walk back to the park from a trail on an adjacent national forest.

Earlier in the week temperatures reached 113 degrees on Tuesday Aug. 20, and 114 on Wednesday Aug. 21. which broke records for those dates.

The group did not begin their hike until 3 p.m. and they were advised against making the trek at that time of the afternoon, “but they insisted” said State Parks spokeswoman Michelle Thompson.

Thompson said the hikers were not from Arizona and belonged to a fitness group.

The Associated Press contributed to this report 

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