KGUN 9NewsCommunity Inspired JournalismCatalina Foothills News


Arizona has a new plan in case heat-related emergencies break out

Hiking in the heat
Posted at 10:22 PM, Mar 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-13 01:22:43-04

CATALINA FOOTHILLS, Ariz. (KGUN) — As the sound of running shoes hit the pavement at Sabino Canyon, a large group of members from Fleet Feet Tucson ran along the hiking trail.

Holly Timpf was one of those runners and knows all too well that escaping the heat comes with getting up early to run.

“If you get up before the sun gets really hot, you still have the cool air,” Timpf said.

Some of the Fleet Feet Tucson members train for marathons and know how important it is to hydrate, especially during hotter parts of the spring and summer.

“When I’m hiking I wear a pack that has water in it with a straw that goes around,” member Christine Feldman said.

In the past decade The Arizona Department of Health Services says that 2023 was the year with the highest number of people going to the emergency room because of heat-related illnesses.

Governor Hobbs just came out with her Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan to lower those cases.

The plan recommends the Arizona Department of Health Services share alerts with Arizonans about heat warnings in multiple languages.

Timpf feels like the plan should designate hiking areas to have signs about the heat.

“Just tell people that you can have heat related illnesses if you’re not consuming enough liquids,” she said.

The plan also gives money to Pima County to open indoor spaces with free bottled water and water fountains for unhoused people.

It also encourages the state to create heat maps showing where it’s too hot, especially in smaller cities, and has hypothetical situations about what state agencies should do if there were heat-related emergencies.

Andrew Christiansen is a reporter for KGUN 9. Before joining the team, Andrew reported in Corpus Christi, Texas for KRIS6 News, Action 10 News and guest reported in Spanish for Telemundo Corpus Christi. Share your story ideas with Andrew by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, or Twitter.