SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK
October 8— Rangers responded to the report of a stolen vehicle by a Wuksachi Lodge guest. The vehicle was found in the main lodge parking lot; the guests had forgotten where they parked the vehicle.
October 8— Late in the evening, rangers received a report of an overdue 32-year-old male. An initial investigation was conducted and a plan was made for the following morning. The subject ran late due to weather and was able to self-extricate. The request for a search was cancelled during the night.
October 14— At 1:45 a.m., rangers were notified of a satellite device activation atop Franklin Pass registered to a 34-year-old male. Rangers were not able to obtain details of injury/illness. Search-and-rescue operations were planned to be initiated early the following morning. At 8 a.m., Park dispatch was contacted via cell phone by the individual who had activated his PLB. The individual was uninjured, not requesting assistance, and hiking out under his own power. The individual stated that he had activated his PLB when his tent was surrounded by three mountain lions during the night. A further investigation will be conducted. Sequoia-Kings Canyon wildlife officials have been notified of the incident.
KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK
October 9— Rangers provided medical aid to a hunter who was gored by a deer. It was a walk-in medical at the Kings Canyon Visitor Center. The individual initially self-applied a tourniquet to his left leg, and bleeding was later controlled by the ranger. The hunter was later transferred to Sequoia Safety Council and transported.
October 9— Ranger responded to the Kings Canyon Visitor Center for an individual who had run his car off the road and was seeking assistance. Upon arrival, it was determined that the individual was under the influence of both alcohol and marijuana, and was making suicidal threats to members of the public. The individual was transferred to CHP for further investigation.
October 11— Rangers assisted with the Sierra Crest search-and-rescue operation (see below).
October 11— The Park received a report from Inyo County Sheriff’s Department of an overdue 62-year-old male who was solo-hiking, southbound, on the John Muir Trail. He was reportedly last seen north of Kings Canyon National Park on October 4 and was two days late to pick up a resupply of food and supplies in Bishop. A snowstorm at those elevations had taken place. An investigative response was coordinated between the parks and the Inyo and Fresno counties Sheriff’s Departments. The investigation revealed additional confirmed sightings and the subject walked out on his own that evening to a different trailhead, having intentionally skipped his earlier planned resupply location.
October 12— An accidental SPOT device activation occurred in Sentinel Campground. The party was located and fine.
2018 FATALITIES: There were 6 fatalities in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (or vicinity) during the busy visitor season of 2018. Fatalities in the parks this year, all of which were accidental, were reduced by 50 percent or more compared to the past two years. In 2016, there were 12 fatalities in Sequoia-Kings Canyon (and the Giant Sequoia National Monument area between the parks and the eastern Sierra crest that straddles Sequoia-Kings Canyon and Inyo County). In 2017, there were 16 fatalities within the parks or the adjacent federally managed areas.
The national park incidents appear weekly during the busy visitor season. This is the final installment until next spring.