The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation board voted down the proposal to close hiking trails during extreme heat, but the board did pass a ban for dogs on trails when it’s above 100. Spokesman James Ritter says they worked with the Arizona Humane Society on the new recommendations. Beginning July 1,
2016, dogs will be banned from hiking trails when temperatures hit 100 degrees and above. Signs will be posted at the trails warning dog owners not to play with fire and hike with your furry friends. Groups in favor of the ban say dogs have no choice when their owners taking them hiking in the heat. Eventually, fines will be enacted for dog owners who bring dogs on a hot hike.
As for people trekking up the mountain in extreme heat, Ritter says the research just isn’t there yet. There are too many variables or factors that are in play, such as humidity, time of day, where hikers are fit or from out of town. So far, five people have died in Arizona this month while hiking or mountain biking, including Sarah Teixeira. She was mountain biking with a couple friends when she fell unconscious and lost a pulse on the trail two weeks ago. Medical examiners say she died of complications from overheating.