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AZ Man Hit by Lightning

August 15
14:55 2014

LightningThe Coconino County Sheriff’s Office reports a 41-year old Queen Creek, AZ man was recently struck by lightning while camping at a location between Payson and Heber.

The strike occurred on Saturday, August 10, 2014 at about 4:00 P.M. A 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.

First responders found the man had been struck by a bolt of lightning on his upper torso. Personnel immediately began life saving efforts on the victim. Witnesses report the man had lifted a metal framed camp chair over his head for cover during a storm when the bolt of lightning struck him and a nearby tree. The man was most recently listed as being in good condition after the incident.

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” and beware of the dangers of monsoons.

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 thunder
  • Last Resort Outdoor Risk Reduction Tips

If 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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