Incidents in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks: July 8-15, 2018

 

Sequoia National Park
 
Ash Mountain
 
July 11— Rangers responded to a 30-year-old female from New York who was experiencing a sensation of her throat closing up. She stated she had eaten mango, a fruit to which she was allergic. She was transported to the hospital by ambulance.
 
Lodgepole
 
July 12— While rangers were responding to an agency assist in Sequoia National Forest for a woman “stuck in the river,” they located a single vehicle accident just north of Dorst Creek. A pickup truck had gone off the roadway, up an embankment, across a culvert, then back across the roadway and into a tree. Both airbags deployed and both patients were transported to meet Fresno EMS with minor traumatic injuries.
 
Mineral King
 
July 10— Rangers received a report of an overdue party that was supposed to exit Sawtooth Pass. Upon following up on July 11, it was determined the group hiked out late the previous night in good health.
 
July 12— Tulare County received a 911 call from Silver City Mountain Resort for a 70-year-old female with “cardiac issues.” A Tulare County ambulance was dispatched. Rangers responded and contacted a 76-year-old female experiencing dizziness/some nausea and no cardiac issues. The patient was assessed by rangers and assisted to her room. The patient signed a refusal for transport to a hospital.
 
July 12— Rangers received a report from two Silver City cabin owners of smoke below “Mosquito Peak.” Smoke was observed in an area northeast of Hengst Peak below the Tar Gap Trail. An NPS fire helicopter reconnoiter flight was conducted. The fire was officially named the “Fowler Fire.” Three trees had ignited due to an earlier lightning strike. The fire was monitored by air and a crew hiked to it July 14 and reported the fire was about 20-by-20 feet and had little room for growth. 
 
High Sierra
 
July 11— Rangers responded to a 57-year-old male experiencing cardiac chest pain at Guitar Lake. A helicopter landed at Guitar Lake and transported the patient and his juvenile daughter to Ash Mountain where he was transported to the hospital by air ambulance.
 
July 12— Late in the evening, rangers received a SPOT 911 activation in the area of Tyndall Creek. The closest ranger, at the Crabtree Ranger Station, started hiking in that direction early on the morning of July 13, arriving shortly after 8 a.m. The ranger located the two 20-year-old Eagle Scouts from Monterey, Calif., in good health. They had pressed the 911 button because they couldn’t cross the creek. The ranger educated them on the inappropriate use of the device and they continued on their trip.
 
July 13— A ranger near the Crabtree Ranger Station reported being with a 15-year-old male with a fractured arm. Soon thereafter the park received a satellite device SOS reporting a similar injury in the area. It was determined there was only one patient, who was flown via park
helicopter to a ground ambulance for transport to the hospital.
 
Kings Canyon National Park
 
Grant Grove
 
July 8— Rangers assisted a lost person in Redwood Canyon. The person became lost while hiking the trail to Big Baldy and then descended into Redwood Canyon.
 
July 9— A bear was able to access a significant amount of trash from the dumpsters at Wilsonia. It appeared that the dumpsters had been overfilled and left unlatched.
 
July 11— Grant Grove rangers responded to Stony Creek Campground at the request of Tulare County EMS. They found an individual suffering “heart problems” and provided ambulance transport.
 
July 13— Rangers responded to an agency assist in Sequoia National Forest for a woman “stuck in the river” near Stony Creek. The woman, who injured her ankle while sliding down the creek’s slick rock, had self-extricated to the shore and was evacuated to the trailhead by wheeled litter. Rangers from Ash Mountain and the crew from Engine-51 also assisted with the evacuation.
 
July 13— Rangers responded to an agency assist in Sequoia National Forest for a man threatening campers with a firearm. Rangers provided backup for a USFS law enforcement officer.
 
July 13— Rangers responded to a USFS request to assist with a medical call at the Big Baldy trailhead.
 
July 14— Rangers responded to an agency assist in Sequoia National Forest for an attempted suicide at the Chicago Stump.
 
July 14— Rangers assisted Fresno County Search and Rescue with a search for a 15-year-old male who ran away from Hume Lake. The subject was located by assisting agencies.
 
—Rangers investigated illegal dumping in Wilsonia.
 
Sierra Crest
 
—Rangers responded to multiple SARs in the wilderness this week, including a fatality on Center Peak. CHP Helicopter-40 also assisted.
 
July 11— Rangers responded to a one-way satellite SOS activation off the John Muir Trail, near Mt. Bolton Brown, south of Mather Pass. The 48-year-old male patient had a head laceration and was flown out by the parks’ contract helicopter to a ground ambulance.
 
July 11— A ranger who had just completed the Mt. Bolton Brown incident (above), was contacted by a southbound JMT hiking group who reported that they had intentionally separated from a diabetic member of their party who was now northbound to LeConte Ranger Station to seek assistance for feeling ill, exhausted, and having high blood sugar. The 63-year-old male patient arrived at LeConte Ranger Station the next day where he did not improve and was later flown out by CHP helicopter to Bishop.
 
July 12— A ranger responded to a two-way satellite SOS activation for an ankle injury on the JMT on the north side of Forester Pass. The group was able to move the individual lower to a safe campsite where a doctor in their party determined that the patient was stable and the injury was a possible ruptured Achilles tendon. The next day, the 68-year-old male was flown out by the parks’ contract helicopter to a ground ambulance, in combination with a patient from Crabtree (see July 13 “High Sierra” incident).
 
July 12— At about 3:50 p.m., similar to the Forester Pass ankle injury SOS time, the park received a two-way satellite device SOS indicating a possible call for help about halfway up Center Peak. The reporting party, an unaffiliated JMT hiker, was unable to directly contact the party due to the terrain and stormy weather. A 37-year-old uninjured male who was unable to ascend or descend was evacuated via the park helicopter. At about 6:30 p.m., his partner nearby was confirmed deceased. The next day a recovery was completed and the body was transferred to the Tulare County Coroner’s Office. An investigation is ongoing but information indicates a likely accidental fall of about 200 feet while attempting to re-ascend after reaching the summit and then beginning to descend via a different route or off-route. It started raining after the fall occurred and operations were concurrent with about four other SAR incidents while the parks’ phone and internet systems were down. (See page 1 for a more in-depth article on this rescue and recovery.)
 
July 13— While en route to the Forester Pass area ankle injury and Center Peak SOS, a ranger took a report from an unaffiliated hiker that a woman in her mid-30s had been sick all night at Vidette Meadows. Another ranger responded from Junction Meadow through the area to Charlotte Lake and was unable to locate any party requesting assistance.
 
Cedar Grove
 
July 11— Rangers from Cedar Grove and Grant Grove responded to a traffic hazard on Highway 180 at mile marker 133. The Kings Canyon road crew had discovered a sinkhole, then coned off the area and began single-lane traffic around it. The sinkhole was found to be about four feet deep and extend across 1½ lanes. Cal Trans and CHP responded and made repairs before the end of the day.
 
—Rangers transported a 20-year-old male with a dislocated shoulder after attempting to reduce the shoulder.
 
—Rangers treated a 44-year-old female who had a syncopal episode in Moraine Campground. The patient opted to self-transport for further medical attention.
 
—Rangers gave a courtesy transport to a 19-year-old female who had a verbal altercation with her stepfather.
 
—Rangers assisted with a separated hiking group on the Mist Falls trail. They were reunited.
 
—Rangers assisted Fresno County SAR with a search of a 15-year-old male who ran away from Hume Lake. The subject was located by assisting agencies.
 
Law Enforcement Services
 
—Restitution in the amount of $9,500 has been ordered to be paid by a hiker who neglected to obtain a permit before beginning his trip in October 2017. Not having clear itinerary information, his family reported him overdue. Permits serve as an important tool for assessing incidents and locating overdue hikers.
 
Wilderness Branch
 
—The website has been updated to provide information about testing food storage container requirements in the Pear and Emerald Lakes drainage.
 
—Met with representatives from Yosemite National Park, Sierra National Forest, Inyo National Forest, Sequoia Parks Conservancy, Yosemite Conservancy, and the John Muir Trail Foundation to discuss cooperative fundraising efforts for the JMT.
 

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