Arizona First Responders Rescue 25 People Caught By Flash Flooding In National Forest

Twenty-five people who had a more exciting trip than expected to Arizona’s Coronado National Forest last week escaped from flash flooding thanks to the quick work of firefighters and local search and rescue first responders.

The group that included three children and an infant was exploring the National Forest northeast of Tucson when they found themselves suddenly trapped due to the rapid flooding of a low-water crossing at Bear Canyon.

The fast-moving flood water was rushing through the crossing at 3,000 cubic feet per second according to reports. Experts generally warn against crossing water moving any faster than 300 cubic feet per second.

Upon being alerted of the endangered hikers, firefighters quickly teamed up with rescuers from the U.S. Forest Service and Pima County Search and Rescue.

With more storms approaching and continuing rising water expected, firefighters assessed that a ladder rescue was the best approach under the conditions. The Facebook account for the Tucson Fire Department described the maneuver as impressive, especially given the deteriorating weather conditions.

The fire department supplied an appropriate ladder that was lowered to the stranded adventurers shortly before sundown, allowing all of them to be brought to safety without serious injury.

One of the rescued persons suffered a sprained ankle at some point before or during the rescue. They are expected to make a full recovery, and none of the other rescued persons needed medical attention.

The Twitter account of the Coronado National Forest posted several photos and noted that “great teamwork made this rescue happen.” In another post, the Tucson Fire Department added that it “appreciates the close connections we have with neighboring agencies that make quick rescues like this possible.”

Arizona’s “monsoon season” runs from June 15 through September 30, according to local meteorologists. The summer months generally see a shift in strong coastal winds entering the desert, often bringing strong rainfall and storm activity that leads to severe flash flooding on occasion.

This year’s monsoon season has already seen several widely traveled roads in Arizona suffer flooding or being washed out.