SOLANO COUNTY (CBS13) — To beat pandemic cabin fever, people are flocking to hiking trails all over the Sacramento region.
The surge is sparking almost daily rescues for the California Highway Patrol Golden Gate Air Division. People are getting stranded, dehydrated and even chased by animals.
For one elderly couple, a morning hike on Sunday became a run from a mad cow. They were hiking in Lynch Canyon in Solano County when the cow started chasing them.
“Once we located them, we were able to hover the helicopter down lower and use our siren to push the cow and calf away from the parties,” said CHP Officer Richard Jones.
Officer Jones said the number of rescues CHP is performing right now is extremely unusual.
“All the parks here in the Bay Area I think have seen a large uptick in the amount of people using those parks and trails,” he said.
On the other side of Sacramento, El Dorado and Placer counties battle the same problem. A spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service said a surge in outdoor adventurers is fueling issues with fire danger, overcrowding and even trash dumping.
“We’ve never seen people like this our numbers have tripled,” said Adam Whitehouse, a campground host in the El Dorado National Forest.
In many cases, people are new to the outdoors and unfamiliar with necessary safety measures. The U.S. Forest Service said they’ve dealt with 50 fires this year already that were sparked by people not putting out a campfire properly. That’s about double the normal amount.
Amid high fire danger and high temperatures, Officer Jones said “know your limits.”
“It’s been especially warm lately and that may cause issues for people that are not as experienced,” he said.
Because the urge to escape pandemic danger may simply lead to another if you’re not careful.