Officials Warn Hikers Ahead of Inland Heat Wave


Officials are warning those heading out to the trails this summer to take the necessary safety precautions a day after a 24-year-old man died while hiking near Julian, east of San Diego.

The hiker, a 24-year-old man, fainted from possible heat exhaustion while hiking in the Cleveland National Forest’s Cedar Creek area, San Diego County Sheriff’s officials (SDSO) said.

The hikers had plenty of water, officials said, but the man was soon unconscious and a rescue helicopter airlifted the man, trying to revive him. He died before he could reach the hospital, Sheriff’s officials said.

With a heat advisory in effect in parts of San Diego and Riverside and an excessive heat warning in effect across the Imperial Valley and parts of Riverside, many hikers heading to the trails may want to be careful.

Peter Ruth registers hikers coming and going at the Cleveland National Forest and says weather like this is where they start seeing problems.

“Yesterday, we had a gal, we had to send ice down just to get her back up here,” Ruth said.

The Sheriff department’s helicopter ASTREA makes rescues in the area frequently during the summer, said Sgt. Fred Duey.

“They don’t understand their limitations and unfortunately it’s too late when they do,” Ruth said. 

Simple tips can help hikers stay safe in the weather:

  • Never go hiking alone
  • Bring ample food, water and sunscreen in addition to a flashlight, map, GPS, first aid kit and multipurpose took or knife and a whistle.
  • Bring a fully-charged phone in case you need to call for help.
  • Wear proper clothing, boots, sunglasses, hats, globes and a helmet
  • Tell someone you are going hiking, the destination you will be at and when you expect to return
  • Know your limitations
  • Chose a trail that matches your level of physical fitness
  • Pick an area where you know you will not get lost
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