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Pinal Co. Sheriffs report rise in Superstition area rescues

PHOENIX -- The Pinal County Sheriff's Office has racked up 15 search-and-rescues in the Superstition Wilderness in the past two weeks and it's taxing the budget.

Sheriff Paul Babeu said that total usually covers three months and he's concerned.

"The mountains are less forgiving than just about anywhere else. Bring more water than you expect you'll need in case you get lost," he said.

Being unpreppared to deal with the rugged Superstitions is the top reason the rescue numbers have climbed, Babeu said.

"People having heart attacks, people from other states [who] don't know what they're getting into."

Babeu said the rescues are taking a bite out of his budget at a time when money is already tight.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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