A Snow Cat provided by the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office unloads one of four dogs rescued Monday when two Phoenix-area men got stuck on a forest road on the Mogollon Rim just as one of the worst snow storms this winter hit the area.

HEBER — An elderly Phoenix-area man, his 35-year-old son and their four dogs are safe and sound thanks to coordinated efforts by the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office, the Heber-Overgaard Fire Department, Heber Public Works and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.

A press release from NCSO Public Information Officer Tori Gorman stated that the 72-year-old man and his 35 year-old son from the valley got stuck Monday, Jan. 25 while driving on a snow covered (about 24 inches) Forest Service Road 86 a little west of Black Canyon Lake on the Mogollon Rim.

They also had the four dogs with them at the time.

After considering the large amount of snow that had already blanketed the area, rescuers contacted Heber Public Works and and the Heber-Overgaard Fire Department to help the NCSO try and clear a path to where the two men were stuck as temperatures started falling even more and as more snow was hitting the ground, all the while getting stronger.

After reaching the two stranded men in feet of snow, rescuers realized weather conditions had deteriorated to the point that it would be too risky for everyone to try and make it back to the rescue vehicles.

So the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, that has a facility nearby since the border between Navajo County and Coconino County is also nearby, was contacted and asked if they could help with the situation.

The CCSO sent a Snow Cat right away to the scene and was able to bring everyone back safely to Heber, according to the press release from Gorman.

By the time the storm had passed Wednesday morning Jan. 27 there was more than 60 inches of snow on the ground in some areas on the rim.

Gorman sent a thank you out to all of the departments and agencies that helped in the successful rescue of the two men and their dogs.

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(3) comments


Navajo County should get a Snow Cat


The idiots that are caused this rescue should be charged the full amount of this. Stupid motorist law should apply here.

Navajo does not need a snow cat much less afford one.


Yes, it is aggravating that hikers and here people in a car get themselves into situations that cause others to risk their lives to save them.

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