Hikers Rescued From Fossil Creek

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Heat and poor planning were the cause of two rescues in Fossil Creek last week.

On Aug. 19 and 20, Tonto Rim Search and Rescue and the Gila County Mounted Posse volunteers were called out after hikers found themselves in hot water.

Specifically, heat stress caught up with two hikers in the lower area of the popular hiking and swimming area north of Payson.

Luckily, for TRSAR, horses did the hard work volunteers used to have to do just a year earlier.

In January, the mounted posse formed and has since gone on approximately eight of the 17 rescues this year.

Using horses, victims are now hauled out on horseback instead of in a basket pushed by volunteers. This saves time and energy, said TRSAR Commander Bill Pitterle.

For calls that are more serious and a person cannot saddle up, TRSAR is still there to carry them out in a litter.

Not everyone is fond of the change. On the Aug. 20 rescue, although medical had cleared the woman to ride out of the canyon, she refused so volunteers had to help walk her out.

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