Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue crews in Utah are concerned about straining their resources and personal protective equipment as the warmer weather has brought a spike in calls despite nationwide restrictions due to the coronavirus.
In the last 20-days, they have responded to 13 rescues, and 49 in total so far this year, an increase of over 30% on the 37 calls this time last year
“I expect they will probably increase until it gets hot enough here that people can’t stand to go outside.”
– Sgt. Darrell Cashin, the liaison for the Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue
Since state parks in Southwest Utah reopened to the public, rescuers say they have noticed visitors from across the country, including California, Colorado, and Washington, and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rescue 49, on Saturday, was a group of lost hikers in the Water Canyon area, and 48 was a technical rescue of a woman who hurt herself cliff-jumping at Gunlock Falls.
The calls for help are mainly injuries, from broken ankles to severe falls and mountain bike crashes off cliffs. The hotter summer months will, unfortunately, bring several body recoveries at nearby lakes and reservoirs.