Four Rescued In Illegal Off-Roading Incident In Madera County

Four people had to be rescued on Monday after getting lost in the Madera County mountains.

Nathan Kelly Brown, 37, of North Fork, Jacob Southers, 42, of Clovis, and two juveniles rode{} dirt bikes and an all-terrain vehicle into the forested area of Madera County off Roads 222 and 274, just north of Putney Ranch Camp at an elevation of nearly 3,000 feet.

The group found themselves in steep terrain and above their riding skill level, said Madera County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Erica Stuart.

It took Madera County sheriff's deputies and search-and-rescue crews nearly six hours to get the four to safety after they called to report they were lost.

They were located about a mile down a steep ravine around 8 p.m. Crews had to hike down the side of the mountain to reach them.

They were returned to their cars around 11 p.m.

Officials found that only two out of the four vehicles were current on registration.

Stuart said the group violated Madera County's off highway vehicle laws. The US Forest Service was also notified of the incident.