Backpackers rescued from El Dorado forest amid heavy weekend storm, authorities say

El Dorado County deputies and volunteers helped locate and rescue a group of three backpackers who had gone into the El Dorado National Forest during the weekend’s severe storm.

The backpackers were reported missing Sunday, overdue for their planned return from a trip into Desolation Wilderness southwest of Tahoe, according to a news release by the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.

A team of sheriff’s deputies and search-and-rescue volunteers was dispatched Sunday to find and extract the adventurers from dangerous conditions, as heavy winds, rain and snow hit most of Northern California, presenting an “extreme hazard” in the forest, the release said. The National Weather Service had issued severe weather warnings ahead of Sunday throughout much of California.

The three were located Monday morning after an overnight search, reportedly suffering from mild hypothermia, as they had been exposed to temperatures below freezing.

The hikers were warmed and evaluated by paramedics, then taken to a local hotel, the news release said.

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said the incident illustrated the dangers of ignoring weather warnings, writing that the group was “prepared for the elements” but faced danger anyway because the conditions were too extreme.

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