17-Year-Old Girl Rescued From Ponca Wilderness


The Buffalo National River Search and Rescue successfully rescued a 17-year-old girl from the Ponca Wilderness area of the Buffalo National River Park in Newton County, according to Caven Clark, Public Information Officer for the park.

A group of five adults and five youth were backpacking during the cold and wet weather this past weekend.

The weather caused some problems with the group when they tried to hike out of the area they were in.

A park ranger was eventually alerted to their situation and offered to assist with the hike-out. It was at that point that the ranger encountered the 17-year-old girl. Responders were called, and when they arrived, the girl was found semi-conscious with her mother huddled up with her under a wet sleeping bag.

She was eventually put in a heat blanket. After being treated for hypothermia by North Arkansas Regional Medical Center paramedics, she was carried by responders 1.5 miles on a rough muddie trail, across one high creek, to a trail head.

The hiker’s core temperature was 84 degrees when she arrived at the North Arkansas Regional Medical Center. She was treated and released the following day.

Clark wrote in a news release, “Fifty-four responders, primarily volunteers, were involved in the rescue including the following agencies: Buffalo River Search and Rescue Team, Harrison Fire Department, Tri County SAR Team, Mennonite Search and Rescue Services, Newton County Sheriff’s Department and SAR Team, North Arkansas Regional Medical Center, and the Arkansas Forestry Commission.”


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