Weekly incidents at Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks: Falling down causes emergency responses throughout the parks

Weekly incidents at Sequoia
Many campgrounds in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are closed due to COVID-19 transmission concerns but some visitors are ignoring the closure orders.

Sequoia National Park

Ash Mountain
• 7/23/2020: A driver was arrested for DUI on the Generals Highway near the park entrance station.

Weekly incidents at Sequoia
Sequoia National Park’s North Fork boundary marker.

• 7/23/2020: Rangers responded to the North Fork area to assist Tulare County Sheriff’s Office with a fatality incident that occurred approximately 20 feet outside the park. Weekly incidents at Sequoia
• 7/25/2020: Rangers responded to a report of a 24-year-old male with a dislocated shoulder with coordinates at Eagle Lake. After interviewing the reporting party, it was determined they were at the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River near the Research Center. The injured male fell on a ledge which made access difficult. California Highway Patrol, Tulare County Sheriff’s Office and NPS resources responded. Rangers packaged the patient while the reporting party, a 24- year-old female, was evacuated on foot after complaints of dizziness and light headedness subsequent to a recent surgery. She was evaluated by Exeter Ambulance and released from the scene. A CHP helicopter conducted a hoist rescue operation of the injured male and transferred him to a Porterville Ambulance. After evaluation, the male was flown to Kaweah Delta.
• 7/25/2020: Rangers received a report of an overdue party in the Potwisha area. The incident self-resolved as the party hiked out by flashlight. Weekly incidents at Sequoia
• 7/22/2020: Ambulance 6 flagged down in Lodgepole Campground for minor abrasions due to falling off a log, on a 13-year-old female from Seal Beach. Treated, no transport.

• 7/23/2020: Rangers and Ambulance 6 responded to a medical for a 41-year-old male experiencing lower extremity and lower back/pelvis pain. Patient was transported and transferred to ambulance out of Fresno.
• 07/23/2020: Rangers responded to a report of a domestic assault that occurred at the Upper Sherman parking lot. Parties were already separated upon arrival and were calm. No injuries were reported, and no citations issued.
• 7/26/2020: Rangers responded to a report of a 73-year-old male who had fallen and lost consciousness. Upon reaching the patient, he was conscious and alert and refused medical transport.
• 7/26/2020: Rangers responded to a report of a 28-year-old female with contusions to her knee and a swollen ankle near the General Sherman Tree. The patient was treated and refused medical transport.

Kings Canyon National Park

Grant Grove
• 7/22/2020: Rangers and Ambulance 5 responded to Big Stump Entrance Station for a report of an adult male with severe abdominal pain. ALS treatment was provided, and the patient was transported to a rendezvous with Sequoia Safety. Weekly incidents at Sequoia
• 7/23/2020: Rangers and Ambulance 5 responded a report of a female at the Fallen Monarch who had sprained her ankle. The patient was treated by responding EMS units and then self-transported to a hospital.
• 7/26/2020: Visitors located a 24-year-old female at Hume Lake who stated she was having a bad trip on mushrooms, felt suicidal, and needed an ambulance. They drove her approximately 30 minutes to Grant Grove, where they located a ranger/EMT who recognized the medical emergency and called for Ambulance 5. The patient was transported via ALS staffed ambulance to Reedley.

Weekly incidents at Sequoia
LeConte Ranger Station as seen through the trees from the John Muir Trail in Kings Canyon National Park.

Sierra Crest
• 7/20/2020: Sequoia-Kings Canyon dispatch took a report of CPR in progress on a 28-year-old female visitor on a backpacking trip near LeConte Ranger Station. Incident Command was established and a nearby wilderness ranger/EMT responded, but resuscitation was unsuccessful. Grant Grove rangers were flown out to investigate and Helicopter 552 transported the victim to Grant for transfer to Fresno County Coroner’s Office. An investigation is ongoing.
• 7/20/2020: Later that same day, two wilderness rangers/EMTs at LeConte responded to an IERCC one-way satellite device SOS activation and hiker reports of a 14-year-old visitor with a possible dislocated shoulder about 1.5 miles south of the station, along the JMT. Treatment was provided with OTC pain medication and by successfully reducing the dislocated joint, which improved circulation, motor and sensory function in that arm, and provided significant pain relief. The joint was stabilized, and the group was then able to safely hike out the next day without need of a Wilderness helicopter mission. Weekly incidents at Sequoia
Weekly incidents at Sequoia
LeConte Ranger Station in the backcountry of Kings Canyon National Park.

• 7/22/2020: A Wilderness Ranger/EMT at LeConte was contacted by a 24-year-old female with a muscular injury to the right quad. She reported feeling a pop and severe pain earlier that day when climbing a pass but was able to continue several miles to the station with assistance. They were assessed and agreed to a plan to rest overnight nearby. The next day they were able to start hiking out with assistance and without need of a Wilderness helicopter mission.
• 7/23/2020: SEKI Dispatch was notified by IERCC of a satellite device SOS activation south of Pinchot Pass near Twin Lakes. The accidental SOS activation was cancelled before NPS units responded.
Cedar Grove
• Helicopter 552 responded to a smoldering 4’x4’ human-caused fire just north of Upper Paradise Valley. The fire was quickly extinguished.


Still two miles to go! Traffic on Saturday, July 25, at 11 a.m., was backed up to Salt Creek Drive due to visitors going to Sequoia National Park. Park statistics show that park visitation on that day was near what it has been on the same day in each of the three prior years. What pandemic?

Revenue and Fee Management Branch:
• There is an increase in park visitors illicitly camping in closed sites and other rule violations in campgrounds.
• Number of vehicles entering the park for recreational purposes: Weekly incidents at Sequoia

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One thought on “Weekly incidents at Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks: Falling down causes emergency responses throughout the parks

  • July 31, 2020 at 10:22 am

    I would be curious as to how the 3-year average was obtained. If it was July 25 for the previous three years, those dates fall on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, when park attendance would be lower than on a Saturday. So last Saturday’s attendance would be about 3% less than a normal mid-week attendance. I would be interested to know what the 3-year average is for the Saturdays closest to July 25.


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