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BP Reminds the Public of Desert Dangers in Triple Digit Heat

Release Date: 
April 23, 2020

TUCSON, Ariz. – With temperatures predicted to approach 100 degrees in southern Arizona this weekend, Tucson Sector Border Patrol would like to remind the public, as well as potential illegal border crossers, of the perils that come with traversing the relentless Sonoran Desert on foot. 


Historically, Tucson Sector sees a substantial increase in 911 calls and rescue beacon activations from distressed people lost in the Arizona desert once temperatures reach 100 degrees. In an area measuring thousands of square miles, devoid of paved roads, and with minimal communication towers, the desert poses many risks for people, including those conducting search and rescue operations.

Agents fully expect to see a jump in distress calls in the coming weeks
Agents fully expect to see a jump in
distress calls in the coming weeks


Tucson Sector is well equipped to handle complex rescue missions across southern Arizona, utilizing vast mobile resources and medically certified agents who patrol the area. 34 rescue beacons strategically placed in remote areas of its western corridor are available to anyone seeking help, and those in distress are encouraged to activate them. They are also encouraged to call 911.


In fiscal year 2019, Tucson Sector agents performed over 900 rescues.


Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal stated, “Migrants illegally crossing the border through the desert face miles of difficult terrain, dehydration, dangerous wildlife, and abandonment by smugglers.”

Villareal added, “They rely on our agents for food, hydration, medical attention—literally for survival.”

Anyone in distress should call 911 or activate a rescue beacon as soon as possible.


For more details regarding this news release, contact the Tucson Sector Public Affairs Office at or by phone at 520-748-3210. Tucson Sector is also LiveU capable. Contact us to schedule an interview.

Last modified: 
April 23, 2020