SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Firefighters and sheriff's personnel rescued members of a Lake Arrowhead Boy Scout troop Saturday when they ran into trouble with the hot weather and a difficult hiking trail.
An 11-year-old boy who suffered heat exhaustion was taken to a hospital for treatment. No other members of the group were injured.
San Bernardino City fire spokesman Steve Tracy said the incident serves as a warning for people wanting to venture into the wilderness.
"As the weather gets hotter and people are planning on doing strenuous activity, they need to start hydrating early in the morning," he said.
The troop began their 10-mile annual hike down the Daley Canyon Road trail at 9 a.m. and expected to complete the hike by 3 p.m.
But about 3 p.m., the troop remained on the trail and one of the members couldn't continue hiking. The assistant scout master called the troop's scout master, saying the child would need help getting down the mountain.
High temperatures Saturday were 93 degrees in San Bernardino and 83 in Lake Arrowhead, according to the National Weather Service.
Tracy came to a U.S. Forest Service station in San Bernardino and hiked about five miles up the trail, but couldn't find the group.
Meanwhile, eight members of the group split off to get help. Two others stayed with the 11-year-old boy. The larger group hiked down and became lost in 8 to 10-foot manzanita plants.
San Bernardino city firefighters launched a rescue mission, teaming up with the Forest Service and sheriff's deputies in helicopters.
The Boy Scouts, through text messaging, use of a compass and other measures, were able to relay their coordinates to rescuers.
Sheriff's search and rescue personnel spotted both groups by about 7 p.m., Tracy said. They hoisted the 11-year-old and two adults to safety.
The rest of the group stayed on the mountain to continue their trip.
Even if they weren't found right away, Tracy said all of the scouts had enough equipment to make it through the night.
He said the group had plenty of water, but it was the boy's first time on the hike and he hadn't had any water before starting on the trail.