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Belgian man dies hiking in Utah's 'extreme heat'

FILE - In this May 28, 2013, file photo, a hiker walks on a rock formation known as The Wave in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona. A 49-year-old Belgium man has died in an apparent heat-related death while hiking a popular spot near the Ut
FILE - In this May 28, 2013, file photo, a hiker walks on a rock formation known as The Wave in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona. A 49-year-old Belgium man has died in an apparent heat-related death while hiking a popular spot near the Utah-Arizona border called "The Wave." Kane County Sheriff's Sgt. Alan Alldredge said Christophe Pochic was found dead Monday, July 30, 2018, after his 16-year-old son called his mom who was in a hotel to tell her that his father had become disoriented and needed help. The family was visiting Utah.
Brian Witte, Associated Press

KANAB — A man from Belgium died Monday while hiking in an area that police say can be "deadly" due to extreme heat.

Cristophe Pochic, 49, became separated from his 16-year-old son while on the way back from The Wave in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, according to the Kane County Sheriff's Office.

The son told police his father became disoriented on the way back from The Wave and "wanted to go the wrong way," the sheriff's office said in a press release. The son then went to the trailhead looking for help and became separated from his father.

Other hikers helped the teen search for his father for about three hours.

"Mr. Pochic was believed to be in good health with no medical issues," the release states.

Sheriff's deputies and a helicopter responded to the area to join in the search. About 9:15 p.m., Pochic was found by Bureau of Land Management workers, who declared him dead on scene, the sheriff's office said. He still had water with him.

According to officials, the death appears to have been heat-related.

"Temperatures in Kane County have been extremely hot the last few weeks and we expect them to continue into August. By early afternoon, the slick rock areas around The Wave can prove to be deadly because of extreme heat," the release states.

Officials encouraged those hiking in Kane County to "go early and finish early or find ways to protect yourself from the heat. Take a break hiking the middle of the day if possible," sheriff's officials said.

"Our thoughts are with the family of Mr. Pochic at this difficult time as they return home to Belgium."