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Upper Ojai Search and Rescue experiencing surge in hikers needing rescue

VENTURA, Calif. -- Upper Ojai Search and Rescue teams say they are getting a higher volume of calls from the hiking trails than usual lately. Hikers are not bringing the supplies that they need to stay healthy and hydrated, according to the Ventura County Sheriffs Department

The Harmon Canyon Preserve is a popular trail for hiking and mountain biking in Ventura. But as many explore the area, the Upper Ojai Search and Rescue team is asking people to come prepared. The group has been flooded with calls for help.

“Everything from at-risk young and old people, said Mary Looby, Upper Ojai Search and Rescue Team Member. “We recently had a dog rescue, which was a unique situation. We had an 80 pound Rottweiler who was backpacking with her owner and ran out of steam and her paws were a little beat up.”

The Search and Rescue Team is a volunteer organization through the Ventura County Sheriff's Department. The highly trained rescuers say they are coming across trail runners and hikers who are over heated.

“Make sure you have plenty of water and also nutrition. Make sure you have snacks that have some salt on them and sugar so that you are replacing the electrolytes that you lose from sweating," Looby said.

The heat is on its way with triple digits in the forecast for some areas next week. And water holes that people use to cool off in may not be there for much longer.

“As everybody knows we had a very low rain year this year. I have been out recently in the back county and the water is low in a lot of places and we think there is going to be some usually reliable water sources that may dry up by the end of the summer," Looby said.

If you do hit the trails, the best advice is to share your plans with someone who is staying behind. That includes letting them know where you're going, what kind of gear you have, what your plan is, who you're with and when you will be back.

Article Topic Follows: Outdoors

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