Air search begins for 2 hikers lost in SW Washington

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SEATTLE — The Skamania County sheriff’s office says helicopters and a plane are searching for a man and a woman missing in separate, remote areas of southwest Washington.

Chief Criminal Deputy Pat Bond says the Coast Guard and King County are sending copters Thursday and the Transportation Department a fixed-wing plane.

The ground search has been suspended to allow volunteers to regroup and revitalize for a search Saturday, if needed.

They are looking for 31-year-old Kristopher Zitzewitz of Portland. He became separated from his hiking partner Saturday in the Big Lava Beds area of Gifford Pinchot National Forest, southwest of 12,280-foot Mount Adams.

Searchers also are trying to locate 23-year-old Alejandra Wilson who failed to check in by phone with her father Monday. She has been hiking the Pacific Coast Trail.