As Las Vegas encounters a historic heat wave, two women were found dead in the Valley of Fire State Park, according to The Daily Caller. The two women were reportedly seen walking onto a trail by a group of hikers. But the hikers say that they became concerned when the women never came back.
Upon calling the authorities, who then conducted a wellness check, one woman was found dead on the rails. After the Nevada State Park Police requested a search and rescue operation, the other woman was found in a canyon. Neither the identities of the women nor the cause of death has been provided while the investigation continues, according to KLAS News.
Temperatures reached a high of 115 degrees Fahrenheit last week in Las Vegas. The National Weather Service issued a heat wave warning for ten days in a row. A record from 1937 was topped after 115 degrees was recorded at Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport.
The NWS also issued a warning for the Owens Valley and the Mojave Desert, recommending that people restrict the amount of time they spend outside, wear light clothes, and stay hydrated.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office has reported that 16 people have died from heat-related causes this year, according to KTNV. Americans are reportedly killed from heat-related causes more than any other weather event. A total of 152 people died last year in Nevada, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.
Ben Zaitchik, a professor and climate scientist at Johns Hopkins University, says that people are particularly at risk because the temperatures experienced around the country are unprecedented. Extreme heat can also reportedly disrupt the body’s way of staying cool, which is by sweating.
Ashley Ward, director of the Heat Policy Innovation Hub at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability, noted that people with chronic illnesses and diabetes are most at risk.