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Fall is in the air, and hiking season is back. Prescott Fire Department officials have some important tips for hikers to keep in mind:

First, check the weather: Cooler temperatures are great, but they can change fast. Always know what's coming to avoid unexpected chills or storms.

Plan your route: Tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back. It's crucial for your safety.

Pack essentials: Water, snacks, a map, a fully charged phone, and a first-aid kit are must-haves. Remember to dress in layers for comfort.

Stay on marked trails: Off-trail hiking can harm the environment and put you at risk.

Fire safety: We know it's a "fire season" issue, but fire safety is year-round. Campfires and stoves should be used responsibly and extinguished completely.

Leave no trace: Respect the wilderness by carrying out all trash and disposing of waste properly.

Respect wildlife: Observe animals from a distance, and never feed them.

Know your limits: Start with shorter hikes if you're a beginner and work your way up. Always listen to your body.

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