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Phoenix Considers Hiking Ban During Extreme Heat

The city of Phoenix is considering new rules that would close its vast network of hiking trails during periods of extreme heat. Under the policy being mulled over, the closures would kick in for hikers whenever temperatures reach 110 degrees (dogs would be banned from trails at 100 degrees). The proposal comes amid a wave of life-threatening heat in Arizona that has resulted in dozens of emergency rescues and several deaths statewide, including six in one weekend.

Enforcing the hiking ban would be the hard part. Phoenix has more than 200 miles of designated trails, each with numerous access points. The city doesn't have the resources to police all that territory during closures. But backers of the proposal say that signs at trailheads would at least educate hikers about the dangers involved.