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Heat-weary hikers airlifted off Cedar Creek Falls Trail

RAMONA, Calif. — Deputies and firefighters came to the rescue Friday when a vacationing family of five was overcome by heat exhaustion during a sweltering afternoon hike on Cedar Creek Falls Trail in eastern San Diego County.

The emergency on the popular scenic footpath northeast of El Capitan Reservoir near Ramona began about 2 p.m., amid temperatures in the mid-90s, according to Cal Fire and the National Weather Service.

U.S. Forest Service personnel hiked about a mile and a half down the steep sun-baked trail to reach the exhausted group — a New Jersey couple and their three sons, ages 16, 14 and 11. The firefighters then helped load the family into a pair of sheriff’s helicopters that landed in open areas nearby, Cal Fire Capt, Thomas Shoots said.

The air crews dropped the group off at a putting green across the street from Cal Fire San Diego Ramona Fire Station 81 on San Vicente Road, where they were met by paramedics.

After getting out of the sun and rehydrating, the rescued tourists were given clean bills of health and released, Shoots said.

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