Heat wave forces closure of Three Sisters Falls, Cedar Creek Falls trails

Posted at 10:00 AM, Jul 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-23 20:39:49-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Officials announced the closure of two popular hiking destinations in San Diego County due to this week's heat wave.

Emergency closures are in effect at Three Sisters Falls and Cedar Creeks Falls, both in the Cleveland National Forest, due to what officials are calling “extreme temperature events.”

According to officials, the closures will run from July 23-26, “with an anticipated reopening date of Friday, July 27.”

"The road and trail system leading to both Three Sisters and Cedar Creek Falls are very challenging under normal conditions, but with extreme heat, the area becomes dangerous," according to a U.S. Forest Service statement.

No other closures in the Cleveland National Forest were immediately announced, but officials urged the public to visit for updates.

Authorities typically implement emergency closures when temperatures are expected to exceed 95 degrees. Additional closures are expected throughout the remainder of the summer.

Heat stroke results in several fatalities per year in those areas, according to the Fire Service, and hundreds of people require medical aid or air rescue annually.

The closures come as a heat wave scorches San Diego County, with temperatures expected to increase throughout the week and create uncomfortable and potentially dangerous conditions.

After the closures were announced Monday morning, two hikers were rescued after becoming dehydrated at the El Capitan Preserve. 

Authorities said the hikers, who are in their 20s, became dehydrated about five miles into their hike after drinking all their water. 

The hikers were air lifted to a nearby ambulance, treated and released.