Search underway for missing Ariz. fire chief

Pine-Strawberry Fire Chief Gary Morris, 73, was reported missing after setting out to hike a 51-mile trail


By FireRescue1 Staff

UPDATE: Authorities say missing Pine-Strawberry Fire Chief Gary Morris has been located after the chief was able to make contact with the Gila County Sheriff's Office via text message on Wednesday afternoon. According to ABC15.com, authorities have determined the chief’s location and plan to use a helicopter to airlift him to a hospital in Payson. Morris does not appear to be injured at this time.

Stacy Figueroa of the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department posted the confirmation to Facebook.

Original story below.

GILA COUNTY, Ariz. — Authorities are searching for a fire chief who has been reported missing after setting out to hike an Arizona trail last week.

ABC15.com reported that Pine-Strawberry Fire Chief Gary Morris, 73, was reported missing around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Chief Morris, an avid hiker, was scheduled to hike 51 miles over four days with the ending point being in the Doll Baby area, according to deputies. 

Authorities said Chief Morris told friends and family he would call them once he made it to the end of the trail, but they never heard from him.

Search operations are ongoing. We will update you once more information becomes available.

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