Search-and-rescue ready for busy holiday weekend |

Search-and-rescue ready for busy holiday weekend

William Ferchland
Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune file / Search-and-rescue personnel train at Lovers Leap, an area where their services are frequently needed.

Typically, two or three of the 45 zones in the expanse of Desolation Wilderness are booked for summer weekend camping.

For Labor Day weekend, more than half the zones are booked, meaning if 63,000 acres of pristine wilderness can even seem crowded – it might for what is considered the last weekend of summer.

It also means members of the El Dorado County search-and-rescue team might be busy. The team has already responded to more than 30 calls for service, said coordinator Mike Sukau.

Annually the team responds to about 40 calls with the bulk coming in summer, Sukau said.

Those camping or even hiking the wilderness area are recommended to bring a map, sturdy hiking shoes, food and water, adequate clothing and, if possible, a Global Positioning System device. Also, tell someone where you’re going and what time you expect to be back.

“You can’t just walk into that environment without a plan,” said fellow search-and-rescue coordinator Greg Almos.

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