Lightning kills woman hiking in northern Arizona

 FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- Authorities say a lightning strike has killed a woman and injured several others who were taking shelter under a tree in the Mogollon Rim in northern Arizona.
 
The Coconino County Sheriff's Office says 24-year-old Christine Garcia, of Orlando, Florida, was found unresponsive Saturday afternoon.
 
Sheriff's spokesman Gerry Blair says crews received a call around 4:20 p.m. reporting a female hiker who wasn't breathing.
 
It took emergency crews some time to reach the group's remote location.
 
Upon their arrival, Garcia was pronounced dead.
 
Blair says the group was waiting out a thunderstorm under a pine tree when lightning hit, knocking most of them to the ground.
 
One man was flown to a hospital with critical injuries. Three others with less serious injuries were also hospitalized.
 
Their conditions are unknown.
Flagstaff, AZ- Outdoor enthusiasts should be aware of the dangers that may come with monsoons.  The Coconino County Sheriff's Office and the US Forest Service want visitors to enjoy their time on the forests and encourage visitors planning a trip to the area to "Know Before You Go"

Lightning: What You Need to Know
•    NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area
•    If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you
•    When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up
•    Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder
Last Resort Outdoor Risk Reduction Tips
If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby the following actions may reduce your risk:
•    Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks
•    Never lie flat on the ground
•    Never shelter under an isolated tree
•    Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter
•    Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water
•    Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)
Forecast weather conditions can be found at the National Weather Service webpage http://www.nws.noaa.gov/.




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