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Phoenix board to vote on trail restrictions during extreme heat

Posted at 7:24 AM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 10:25:41-04

PHOENIX — Temperatures are much cooler now, but over the summer there were several days of extreme heat which forced some Valley hiking trails to close.

It started as a pilot project to keep hikers and first responders safe. On Thursday, the Phoenix Parks and Recreation board will vote on whether or not to make those restrictions permanent.

During the pilot project, Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain shut down from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. when temperatures hit over 110 degrees.

The United Phoenix Firefighters pushed for the change after a dozen of their crew members suffered heat-related illnesses while rescuing hikers during the summer.

Phoenix hiking trails closed during extreme heat

"For us to engage at the level that we have is entirely unprecedented but that's also predicated on the unprecedented events that we have experienced recently that are very concerning," said P.J. Dean, spokesperson for United Phoenix Firefighters. "I mean, we literally could have killed two of our members and a citizen we were trying to rescue."

Thursday's vote will be live-streamed during the city of Phoenix Parks and Recreation board meeting at 5 p.m. You can watch the vote here.