UPDATE as of 12:30 pm, July 3: All five family members have been found safe. The family was located in the lower part of Perry Canyon, over a mile from where the 5-acre fire is being fought by Hot Shot crew members.
The adult male is being treated for dehydration, but there seems to be no other injuries. The Leader spoke with a rescue member and he said rescuers heard the family talking and had they continue to direct them to their location. The family said they decided to remain on the mountain last night after it got too dark to descend safely.
Nathan Cowsert, one of the 12-year-old boys brought down, said in an interview following the rescue said he was “kind of scared” but added, “I considered it an adventure.” His dad, David, has hiked the canyon before and Nathan said his dad’s experience helped to kept him calm. “It was a little difficult,” he said, “but I trusted my dad.” He said all the family wanted to do now was get home, have a shower and get something to eat.
The group saw the helicopters above them last night and Nathan said he waved his orange sweatshirt around but the pilot was unable to see him.
The Forest Service currently has a 20-man Hot Shot team working on the fire still burning above Willard.
UPDATE: As of 3:30 am, July 3, a helicopter spotted human figures using infrared. A signal fire is believed to be started. The fire was originally five yards wide, but has spread to five acres. Search & Rescue teams are still looking for the family, as are search dogs.
More than a dozen Search and Rescue personnel are combing Perry Canyon tonight in an attempt to locate a family of four who failed to return from a day of hiking.
Box Elder County Sheriff Lynn Yeates said the local family, a husband, wife and three children, ages 12 and 13, had camped at the top of Perry Canyon on Monday night and were expected to hike down to a waiting vehicle about 3:30 p.m., Tuesday afternoon. When they didn’t arrive, concerned family members notified law enforcement and search teams were brought on board about 7 p.m.
Yeates said crews are “searching from the bottom up and the top down” on the mountainside, but had not located the missing hikers by 11 p.m. A Life Flight helicopter with night vision was brought in and a Department of Public Safety helicopter equipped with infrared was on its way to the scene. Yeates said there is no cellphone service in the Perry Canyon area and the hope is the family will “hunker down for the night,” and not attempt to descend in the dark.