YUMA, Ariz. – The life-threatening temperatures of the summer months are expected to peak this weekend, and the U.S. Border Patrol will be on high alert. In anticipation of temperatures approaching 120 degrees, the agency is ramping up procedures geared toward protecting the safety of the border community, and illegal border crossers.
Yuma Sector’s Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) agents will be focusing their efforts in the remote areas of the Sonoran Desert, where the chances of survival are slim for border crossers due to the secluded and dangerous environment.
Illegally crossing the border in Yuma Sector could prove a fatal endeavor at any time of year. In some areas, it takes days to weeks of walking to reach any populated area. In an effort to prevent loss of life, Yuma Sector is emphasizing the dangers of illegally crossing the border in such a hostile environment. Awareness of the hazards that extreme heat poses to human life is important, especially to those illegally entering through such remote locations.
Although securing the border is the Border Patrol’s primary mission, educating the public north and south of the border in an effort prevent loss of life is also important. The danger is even more evident when summer temperatures skyrocket. It is impossible to physically carry enough water to survive for days while crossing through the harsh desert conditions found along the southern border.
Every year, people become sick from overexposure to the heat. Some succumb to the stress, but heat illnesses and deaths are preventable. Body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken. Adequate amounts of drinking water should be on hand and combined with frequent resting periods in the shade or air conditioning.