MADERA COUNTY–The Madera County Sheriff’s Office is reporting three separate search and rescue calls on Sunday, 9.4.2022. Beginning at 8:35am with the first call and the final call coming in at 4:00pm, conditions all day were considered extreme due to excessive heat.
Lost Hiker at Devils Slide
At 8:35am on Sunday 9/4/22, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a hiker who said they were lost near either Corlieu Falls or Lewis Creek north of Oakhurst. It was determined through the Spot Coordinates provided by the 911 call and further questioning of her surroundings that she was on Willow Creek at the top of Devils Slide north of Bass Lake. MCSO Deputies along with USFS Law Enforcement immediately responded to the area. The missing hiker was located a short time later at the top of Devils Slide. She was escorted out of the area and back to her vehicle.
Skaggs Bridge Incident
Around 2pm, Sheriff’s Dispatch got a report of a tree that fell at Skaggs Bridge near Highway 145 and the Fresno/Madera County Line. Initial reports indicated a tree fell down into the water trapping 10-12 children underneath it. A multiagency response from Madera Sheriff’s Deputies and Search and Rescue Volunteers, Fresno Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol Helicopter, North Central Fire District, Fresno County Fire and American Ambulance responded to the location. Upon arrival of rescue crews, it was found that everyone was accounted for with three people suffering minor injuries from the incident.
Missing Hiker at Chilkoot Campground
At 4:00pm, MCSO was notified of a 60-year-old female, a resident of Los Angeles County, who was separated from her family during a hike to Chilkoot Creek. Immediately, Sheriff’s Deputies along with Search and Rescue Volunteers, USFS Law Enforcement and the California Highway Patrol Helicopter H-40, responded to locate the hiker. Upon arrival, multiple search techniques were used such as the helicopter, drone, USFS LE K-9 team, and a hike team. During search operations, the patient was located in the middle of the Willow Creek drainage just upstream from Chilkoot Creek. Although dehydrated and weak, she was able to hike out with the search team to an awaiting paramedic from Sierra Ambulance. She was found to be in good enough health to continue her weekend camping with her family.
Search crews should be commended for their relentless efforts fielding back to back calls and enduring stifling heat conditions during Sunday’s rescues. We are grateful for the positive outcome of all three missions, and as always thank our partnering agencies for their assistance.
Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue
As a reminder, the National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for the San Joaquin Valley through the remainder of the week. Near record high temps will reach even the mountain areas, with temperatures climbing over 100 degrees.
The Madera County Office of Emergency Services urges the public to exercise extreme caution when outdoors. Outdoor recreation is strongly discouraged during this extreme heat wave.
Heat related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke are likely if precautions are not taken.
- Reduce time outdoors, drink plenty of water, and remain in air-conditioned buildings.
- Heat-sensitive groups, such as the elderly, young children, and those with chronic ailments may need assistance to avoid heat-related illness.
- Make sure clothing is lightweight and comfortable and—if you’re planning to be outdoors—avoid the hottest parts of the day by scheduling activities during cooler hours (generally mornings and evenings). Also, be sure to wear a hat and use sunscreen because sunburn affects the body’s ability to cool itself.
- Regardless of your activity level, drink more fluids —especially water—and more than you think you need.