Search and rescue calls on the rise in Utah’s outdoors

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Search and rescue calls are on the rise this spring along the Wasatch Front.

Salt Lake County Search and Rescue received about double the amount of calls in May that they did last year, a pattern exemplified when a hiker and a climber both died in a single weekend, KUER reported.

Officials say a low snowpack and the pandemic could be to blame. Encountering snow can make people realize they are unprepared quickly, while warmer weather can entice people to go further than they normally would, increasing possible risk, according to Ryan Clerico with Salt Lake County Search and Rescue.

In Utah County, the search and rescue team has gotten about the same amount of calls this spring as last spring. But that’s still more than they typically got before the coronavirus pandemic, said Sheriff Sgt. Spencer Cannon.

“Last year people got in the habit of going outside and realized how much fun it could be,” he said.

Officials recommend people prepare by packing extra clothes, water, and food. It’s also recommended to tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back.

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