TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — This week marks heat awareness week throughout Arizona. From drinking enough water to wearing loose fitting clothing, first responders said it's important to stay safe in the heat, even for the most seasoned Arizonan.
Golder Ranch Fire District's Chief of Operations Scott Robb said they've already rescued many hikers due to heat-related illnesses. Many people don't realize they need to drink between one to two liters of water a day, even more when going on a hike.
"The biggest challenge we have is that people don’t bring enough water," he said. "So you know Catalina State Park, Romero Pools — there’s not a lot of shade and it’s hot so it sneaks up on you.”
He also said it's important to go on a hike with a friend or at least tell someone where and when you are hiking.
"It’s easier to spot in other people than in yourself," he said. "Sometimes when we’re seeing heat cramps, dizzy lightheaded. You can’t sometimes see them in your self, so it’s about being self aware that you can be experiencing these things."
About 3,000 people in Arizona are hospitalized because of heat related illnesses each year and it's the top weather related cause of death. During 2021, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported over 500 people died because of the heat.
The Salvation Army will begin their Operation Chill Out on June 1, where they will hand out water to those experiencing homelessness.
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