Phoenix bans dogs from hot trails
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - It's been a deadly summer for hikers in the valley, at least six people have died in recent weeks.
Two of those deaths were in Phoenix.
The apparent dangers prompted city officials to consider closing the trails during extreme heat. The Parks and Recreation board has rejected that idea, but instead approved a measure to protect dogs on city hiking trails.
The Parks and Recreation Department announced a proposal to close its 41 trail heads when it gets too hot. The proposal was in response to several heat-related deaths in Arizona the last few weeks.
"I don't think people have common sense. However, all the people who were in the room who say they are avid hikers, sound like they don't have common sense and are used to doing it," said Jewel Hawthorne.
All present agreed in one area, not taking pets on the trails.
"The animal cannot talk to you, and some of these trails aren't made for an animal to go up, their legs are so short, their paws are on the ground. When it's 100 now, it's 145 on the ground, and that can't be good for any animal anywhere," said Scott Cullymore.
"I want to jump out of my vehicle and run over there and call them a stupid idiot, ask them if they realize how damn hot it is on the cement? Why are they walking at noon, or two, or four o'clock in the afternoon with your dog its 105?" said Hawthorne.
While the three-month program of banning dogs while it's too hot was approved, many agree education is the key to preventing more rescues.
"Responsibility should go to the resorts; they're dropping people off by the bus load. Let them know you gotta start drinking. If you're emptying two bottles before I let you off, and let them know it's a tough hike," said Cullymore.
The City of Phoenix is also collecting more data during the next three months about hikers, rescues, etc.
Another idea being tossed around is a stupid hiker law, like the stupid motorist law, but people brought up the fact that it may prevent folks from calling for the help they need.