The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board approved a ban of dogs on city hiking trails when temperatures are over 100 degrees. At the same time, the group voted down a potential hiking ban for people during extreme heat.
Parks department staff had proposed a ban on hiking when temperatures reach 110 degrees. Five people have died in Arizona this month while hiking or mountain biking, including Sarah Teixeira, who died in Phoenix because of complications from overheating, according to the medical examiner’s office.
The proposed ban had been discussed before the deaths, but the specific language was drafted after those incidents, according to a parks department staff member.
It's not clear yet what the punishment would be for people who violate the no dogs rule during extreme heat, but parks officials said the three-month pilot program goes into effect immediately.
In addition to this ban, the City of Phoenix also banned all dogs from Camelback Mountain, regardless of temperatures, a parks and recreation spokesperson confirmed Thursday. The rule goes into effect Friday, and violators may be cited with penalties up to $2,500 and jail time.
The Phoenix Fire Department say it's the busiest department in the world for mountain rescues, and expects to respond to about 200 rescues in 2016.