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Forest Lakes, AZ; On Saturday, August 10, 2014 at about 4:00 pm a Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputy assigned to the Forest Lakes Community and the Forest Lakes Fire Department were dispatched to the area of Spillway Campground at Woods Canyon Lake for a report of an adult male who was struck by lightning. Once the emergency first responders arrived, they found a 41 year old man of Queen Creek, AZ had been struck by a bolt of lightning on his upper torso in the area of his right shoulder. On scene observation revealed the lightning exited the victim’s body through his big toes. Medical personnel immediately began life saving efforts on the victim who appeared to be seriously injured.Due to the inclement weather, including heavy rain and hail, responders determined that air evacuation of the victim was not a safe option. He was taken to the Payson Regional Hospital by ground ambulance and was subsequently transported to the Maricopa Burn Center. The investigation has revealed the victim, his wife and two children were at Woods Canyon Lake for a day of fishing when a large storm front moved over the Woods Canyon Lake area. According to witnesses the victim lifted a metal framed camp chair over his head for cover at which time a bolt of lightning struck him and a tree located in close proximity to the victim’s location. The last report received by the Sheriff’s Office listed the victim good condition.You should be aware of the dangers that may come with monsoons. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and the US Forest Service want visitors to enjoy their time on the forests and encourage visitors planning a trip to the area to “Know Before You Go”
Lightning: What You Need to Know• NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area• If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you• When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up• Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunderLast Resort Outdoor Risk Reduction TipsIf you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby the following actions may reduce your risk:• Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks • Never lie flat on the ground • Never shelter under an isolated tree • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter • Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.) Forecast weather conditions can be found at the National Weather Service webpage http://www.nws.noaa.gov/.
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Media & Public Contact: Gerry Blair, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, 928-226-5089