A sign at the Anaz Borrego State Park near Borrego Springs. Courtesy University of California

One hiker died and another was in critical condition after requiring a rescue on Palm Canyon Trail in Borrego Springs amid extreme desert heat early Sunday afternoon.

It was so hot, a firefighter also required rescuing, Cal Fire San Diego spokesman Capt. Frank LoCoco said.

The evacuation operation began around 12:40 p.m., when the low-humidity heat rose to about 115 degrees. Worsening matters, the canyon walls trap in the heat, creating hot-box conditions in some places.

“Two hikers were in distress and needed rescue, unfortunately, one of those hikers succumbed to that heat illness and was declared deceased at the scene and the other was transported to the hospital in critical condition,” LoCoco told CBS8.

The condition of the firefighter was not released.

“We still also can succumb to the heat, so we are rigorously trying to maintain hydration,” LoCoco said.

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