Weekend Starts With Three Rescues In The Wilderness

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County officials late Friday afternoon had three rescues underway from the Mazatzal wilderness to the wilds under the Mogollon Rim.

Lt. Tim Scott of the Gila County Sheriff’s office reported three rescues underway Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

The first is located north of the Barnhardt trail on the east side of the mountains. A hiker set off his emergency locator beacon, which turned off as soon as officials received the signal.

After talking to the family of the hiker who waited at the trailhead, county officials decided to dispatch a helicopter from Tucson, the nearest DPS (Department of Public Safety) ranger available. State search and rescue are on the ground looking for the injured hiker.

If the hiker can be located, the helicopter will attempt to land and the medic on board will attend to any medical needs of the hiker and fly him out, said Scott.

The second injury is a reported sprained ankle on the Fossil Springs trail. Currently Tonto Search and Rescue and the Mounted Posse hope to find the hiker and carry them out to safety, said Scott.

The third hiker reported a broken knee. This hiker is located in Box Canyon at the third waterfall near the Christopher Creek area. Colt White, formerly of the Gila Sheriff’s office is working with Tonto Search and Rescue to find the injured hiker. Due to the difficult terrain, Scott said of this rescue, “This will be pretty tough.”

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