A woman collapsed unconscious while hiking in the San Bernardino National Forest east of Anza Wednesday, requiring rescue by a helicopter crew, who found her in grave condition.

The “hiker down” call was received at 11:30 a.m. on the Pacific Crest Trail, near Highway 74, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

The agency said the woman, whose name was not released, was with another hiker when she passed out, possibly while struggling to catch her breath in the 100-degree heat. Her companion called 911, and firefighters were sent to the area but could not immediately find an access point to reach the stranded party.

A sheriff’s helicopter crew was summoned and initiated a search, locating the unconscious hiker and her friend shortly after noon. The pair were picked up and taken to a makeshift landing zone close to the highway, where an air ambulance was expected to land and transport the woman to a hospital.

The other hiker also required medical attention for unspecified injuries and was taken by ground ambulance to a hospital in the Coachella Valley.

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