- Associated Press - Monday, June 20, 2016

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos is pleading with the public to avoid the outdoors after three heat-related deaths in the Tucson area just this weekend.

Nanos said deaths and injuries are easily preventable by avoiding the outdoors in record heat.

Tucson reached a record-breaking temperature of 115 degrees on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. The heat broke a record again on Monday when it reached 112 degrees.

“I don’t know that anyone in Tucson that didn’t know yesterday was a pretty hot day,” Nanos said.

Nanos said a large search and rescue team was deployed to find a missing German man who went hiking on Sunday.

The man, identified as 33-year-old Marcus Turowski, was with two other German men who were in town for a conference at a local resort.

One of the men, 57-year-old Stefan Guenster, was found dead about four miles from the trailhead. The other, who hasn’t been identified, is recovering.

Nanos said the search and rescue missions are extensive and require a lot of resources, including $500 an hour just on gasoline for a helicopter that uses infrared technology to look for missing people.

The sheriff’s department runs the main search and rescue team operating in a large part of southern Arizona and is at times called out for help on a daily basis. About 80 percent of lost or injured hikers are from the Tucson area, Nanos said.

Michele Manos, a consultant for the Pima County Health Department, said posting signs that more clearly alert people to the dangers of hiking in the heat is one way to avoid deaths or costly searches.

But Nanos says it should come down to common sense.

“Just an ounce of smartness there,” he said.

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