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Fire crews rescue Brand Park hiker

Man who left the trails and got lost in heavy brush uses cellphone to get help.

June 12, 2012|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com
  • A hiker and his dog head up a trail at Brand Park in Glendale. A hiker who got lost on one of the trails Monday night had to call authorities for help.
A hiker and his dog head up a trail at Brand Park in Glendale.… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

Fire crews rescued a hiker Monday night after he veered off the trails in Brand Park and got lost in heavy brush, officials said.

The hiker hit the trails earlier that evening, but he began trekking off the path and was unable to find his way back, said Glendale Fire Battalion Chief Greg Godfrey. At that point, he used his cellphone to call for help.

“It took us a couple of hours to find him,” Godfrey said.

The hiker was crawling on his hands and knees through thick brush, which made it difficult for rescuers to find him. The brush was so thick that even thermal imaging was rendered ineffective, Godfrey said.

At one point, crews even drove their vehicles on various fire roads and honked their horns, hoping to get a response, Godfrey said.

Fire officials obtained the hiker's cellphone number and asked him to call when the police helicopter's searchlight was shining over him, Godfrey said.

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That technique proved to be successful.

He was found on a hillside about 100 yards east of the top of Allen Avenue, according to Burbank police officials.

Rescue crews were prepared to use a chainsaw to cut the hiker out of the brush, but he was able to crawl out to safety on his own, Godfrey said.

The hiker, who was not identified, suffered cuts and bruises.

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