Two popular but strenuous San Diego County hiking trails will be closed this weekend as unseasonably hot temperatures grip the region.
The Three Sisters and Cedar Creek Falls hiking trails, which run through the Cleveland National Forest (CNF) between Ramona and Julian, will be temporarily closed from Thursday to Sunday while a National Weather Service heat advisory is in effect, the federal agency said.
The 460,000-acre forest is maintained by the U.S. Forest Service, a government agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It spans the counties of San Diego, Riverside and Orange. The CNF said the closure was meant to protect the health and safety of visitors and employees.
The Three Sisters trail near Julian is strenuous, with direct sunlight for much of the route, which can present dangerous and even deadly consequences for humans and animals.
Rescue crews have had to pull several hikers off the trail due to heat exhaustion and other reasons. Some have died even in more mild conditions.
As recently as three weeks ago, several hikers who defied a similar trail closure needed to be rescued from the area, according to officials.
A heat wave was taking over San Diego's weather pattern on Thursday, potentially sending temperatures to record highs, according to NBC 7 meteorologist Sheena Parveen.
A heat advisory was in effect from 11 a.m. Thursday through 9 p.m. Saturday for San Diego's valleys and mountains below 5,000 feet. San Diego's deserts were under an excessive heat warning during that time. Temperatures in some areas are expected to be up to 104 degrees.