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Two Women Rescued Near Park Boundary

Lava Beds National Monument

National Park News

On the afternoon of Sunday, January 27th, a 68-year-old woman and her 43-year-old daughter attempted to reach the park’s south boundary in their four-wheel-drive pickup via a 14-mile-long Forest Service road that is not maintained during the winter. They made it about two miles before becoming stuck in a snowdrift. They were unable to call out via cell phone due to a lack of service, so the daughter attempted to walk into the park to get help. She walked for three hours during one of the worst winter storms of the season before she finally got cell service and was able to call 911. Modoc County Sheriff’s Office personnel tried to respond, but were hampered by whiteout conditions. Park chief ranger Terry Harris was contacted at 6 p.m. and asked to help find the daughter, who by now had been hiking for three-and-a-half hours. Harris used his four-wheel-drive patrol vehicle to traverse the road, but was impeded by high winds, whiteout conditions, and snow drifts over four feet high. He could not find the daughter, but was able to drive within 100 yards of the stranded vehicle before being blocked by a five-foot-high drift. He hiked to the pickup and found that the mother was in no immediate danger. Rescue personnel from the sheriff’s office advised that they were about an hour from the scene and would handle the mother’s rescue so that Harris could continue the search for the daughter. Harris and the dispatcher from the sheriff’s officer were able to direct the daughter back to the access road, where Harris subsequently found her. She’d been walking for four hours by that time. She was treated for mild hypothermia and driven to Lava Beds. Sheriff’s officers and local volunteers rescued the mother via snowmobiles later that night. Mother and daughter were reunited on Monday morning. There are no plans to recover the vehicle until the storm abates.



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