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Border Patrol agents warn against scorching heat

Heat Border Patrol

YUMA, Ariz. - Arizona is notorious for its scorching heat.

People are frequently advised to avoid outdoor activities at all costs, yet Border Patrol agents respond to heat-related deaths near the border every year. 

Agent Fidel Cabrera said many who cross the border don't understand the severity of Arizona's heat. 
 
"Most of the time these people don't know what they're getting themselves into," Agent Cabrera said. "A lot of the times they're walking eight to ten days here in the desert in Yuma."
 
In 2016, 10 heat-related rescues were reported by Yuma Sector along the border. Moreover, they responded to 7 deaths in the same year. 
 
Although agents said they'd rather see a decrease in illegal border crossing entirely, Agent Kallinger said a devastating amount of deaths in 2001 prompted a need to do more. 
 
"Yuma Sector needed to implement something because of the vastness of the desert, Agent Kallinger said. "We need something to help us get to people faster, and that's why the rescue beacons came in." 
 
These rescue beacons were designed by Yuma Sector after agents found a group of 14 immigrants dead in the desert.  
 
While these beacons haven's solved the issue entirely, Agent Kallinger said it's made a drastic difference in hundreds of lives.
 
"There's absolutely a decrease in deaths," Kallinger said. "Maybe because these people have been able to use the beacons, [and ask for help.]"

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