The next time you head out on a trail in the Tonto National Forest, be sure to take a look at the trailhead signage boards and see if you can spot the new heat safety signs we just posted! These signs, created by the U.S. Forest Service’s Southwest Regional Office, share tips on how to hike safely, and a heat risk thermometer that can help people to determine the safety of their recreation plans.
The signs are a result of work that FOTNF has been doing alongside the family of Christopher Dyer to educate those recreating outdoors to do so safely. After getting lost on a hike in the Superstition Mountains on September 4, 2021, Christopher passed away due to heat stroke. His family and friends are dedicated to preventing these devastating accidents, and are focusing on educating people who may be unfamiliar with the region’s harsh conditions.
Heat-related injuries and deaths continue to rise in Arizona, and one strategy to prevent deaths in the outdoors is to alert people to the dangers. Our hope is that people who read these signs will get a deeper understanding of recreating in the heat, and that they shift their plans according to their preparation and skill levels.
We’re extremely grateful to the U.S. Forest Service’s Southwest Regional Office for creating the signs. A huge thank you goes out to Trails and WIlderness Coordinator Ronald Turner who coordinated this project with the USFS. The Southwest Regional Office of the USFS is making this sign available to all Forests in Arizona and New Mexico.