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Search Suspended for Four Hikers

posted Jul 27, 2013, 12:47 PM by Ray Bloch

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office has suspended its search for four women hiking near Lake Italy in the Sierra Nevada.

Hikers who had talked to the women on the John Muir Trail near Silver Pass told search and rescue crews Wednesday night that the women were all in good condition and had resumed hiking north to their destination in Tuolumne County, the sheriff's office said Thursday.

The women told the hikers of their call to the sheriff's office when they became disoriented due to smoke from the Aspen Fire, which has now blackened 2,500 acres northwest of Huntington Lake.

Search and rescue crews have been pulled from the area and the women's families have been notified, the sheriff's office said.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013: The Fresno County Sheriff's Office is searching for four women who reported Tuesday night that they were lost in the Sierra northeast of Huntington Lake.

A woman said that she, her mother and two other women were lost because of the thick smoke from the Aspen Fire, according to the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

The woman lost cell service while on the phone with authorities, but the GPS located the cell signal near the John Muir Trail between Lake Italy and Bear Creek.

A California Highway Patrol helicopter went to search the area, but could not see because of the thick smoke.

A search and rescue team of at least 10 people is in the area on foot looking for the hikers along with three officers on horseback, said sheriff's spokesman Chris Curtice.

Meanwhile, the sheriff's office rescued one man from the High Sierra Wednesday after the sheriff's office received a "spot activation" signal from the area of Lake Virginia. That is a signal that can be sent by a backpacker to a satellite if the hiker finds himself in trouble.

The hikers were a father and son who sent the signal when the father started having serious medical issues, according to the sheriff's office. The father was taken to a hospital in Mammoth Lakes and his condition is unknown.

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