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Search and rescue crews caution recreation users of seasonal changes

Posted at 5:56 PM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 19:56:39-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Depending on the location, some search and rescue crews have been extremely busy lately, while others are seeing below-average callout volumes.

Salt Lake County Search and Rescue has seen rescue missions increase in the past few months.

“We know and understand that people want to get out and recreate. Some of them may have been holding back all summer, and now they’re afraid that they may miss out,” said Wayne Bassham with Salt Lake County SAR. “Sometimes people get in a hurry and they’re not quite prepared.”

Utah County SAR volunteers have also been busy the past few weeks, responding to a number of callouts.

“Most of our calls come during a four, five-month period in the middle of the year, with some random more winter calls kind of in the shoulder seasons,” said Jeff Rose, a volunteer with Utah County SAR. “Of late, we’ve been seeing call volumes pretty much maintain steady throughout the year with everybody getting outside because of COVID.”

Washington County SAR, which has responded to 135 callouts this year, has only had three callouts in the last few weeks.

However, with the seasons changing, SAR teams across the state want to remind people using the backcountry to be prepared for temperature changes, early sunsets and low light. They also advise telling others where you’ll be, and to wear and pack the proper gear.