DEATH VALLEY, Calif. — Hundreds of Europeans and adventurers from around the U.S. visiting the American West were drawn to Death Valley National Park on Monday, even though the desolate region is one of the hottest places on Earth. Known as dangerous heat is being punished. The wave was blamed for the death of a motorcyclist over the weekend.

Tourists still visit Death Valley as a heat wave in the US is responsible for many deaths.
Tourists still visit Death Valley as a severe heat wave in the US is responsible for many deaths.

French, Spanish, English and Swiss tourists left their air-conditioned rental cars and motorhomes to photograph the barren landscape, a stark contrast to the snow-capped mountains and lush green hills they know back home. American adventurers liked its novelty, even as California park officials warned tourists to be safe.

“I was excited that it was going to be so hot,” said Drew Belt, a resident of Tupelo, Mississippi, who stopped in Death Valley to climb California’s Mount Whitney, which boasts the lowest elevation in the United States. wanted. , the highest peak in the lower 48 states. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Like walking on Mars.”

Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds warned visitors in a statement that “excessive heat like this can pose real risks to your health.”

The extreme heat wave that gripped large parts of the United States also recorded high daily temperatures in Oregon, where it is suspected to have caused four deaths in the Portland area. More than 146 million people around the U.S. were under heat warnings Monday, especially in western states.

Dozens of places in the West and Pacific Northwest tied or broke previous heat records over the weekend and are expected to continue to do so through the week.

The European climate service Copernicus said the early US heatwave came as global temperatures in June were the 13th straight month on record and marked the 12th straight month the world was 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels.

In Oregon’s Multnomah County, home to Portland, the medical examiner is investigating four suspected heat-related deaths recorded Friday, Saturday and Sunday, officials said. Three of the deaths involved county residents aged 64, 75 and 84, county officials said in an email. Heat was also suspected in the death of a 33-year-old man transported from out of the county to a Portland hospital.

Portland broke daily record temperatures on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and was on track to do so again on Monday with a forecast of 102 F, National Weather Service meteorologist Hannah Chandler-Cooley said. High temperatures were expected in Portland by Tuesday evening.

Temperatures are not expected to reach that high during a similar heat wave in the Pacific Northwest in 2021, which killed an estimated 600 people in Oregon, Washington and western Canada. But this period can be difficult as many homes in the region lack air conditioning.

Officials warned that heat illness and injury are cumulative and can develop over a day or days. In San Jose, California, a homeless man died last week of apparent heat-related causes, Mayor Matt Mahan reported on social platform X, calling it an “avoidable tragedy.”

In the hot desert of eastern California, high temperatures of 128 F were recorded Saturday and Sunday at Death Valley National Park, where a visitor, who has not been identified, died Saturday of heatstroke. Another person was hospitalized, officials said.

The park said in a statement that they were among six motorcyclists who were passing through the Badwater Basin area in bad weather. The other four were treated at the scene. Emergency medical helicopters were unable to respond because aircraft normally cannot fly safely above 120 F, officials said.

More extreme highs are in the forecast near midweek, with a possible high of 130 Fahrenheit.

The largest national park outside of Alaska, Death Valley is considered one of the most extreme environments in the world. The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth was 134 F in Death Valley in July 1913, although some experts dispute that measurement and say the actual record was 130 F, set in July 2021.

“It’s impressive,” Thomas Merzlek of Basel, Switzerland, said of the triple-digit heat. “It’s like a wave that hits you when you get out of the car, but it’s a very dry summer. So it’s not like Europe.

Across the desert in Nevada, Las Vegas set a record high of 120 Fahrenheit on Sunday and is forecast to hit a record high of 115 F on Monday. The National Weather Service predicts a temperature of 117 F in Phoenix.

Extreme heat and long droughts in the West have also dried out vegetation that can fuel wildfires

A wildfire burning in the mountains of Santa Barbara County in California grew to 34 square miles by Monday night. More than 1,000 firefighters were on the lines of the Lake Fire, and areas under evacuation orders included the former Neverland Ranch once owned by the late pop star Michael Jackson. Only 8% of the fire was contained.

Rare heat advisories were also extended to higher elevations, including around normally temperate Lake Tahoe, on the California-Nevada border, with the weather service in Reno, Nevada, warning of “significant heat hazard impacts even in the mountains.” . For the third day in a row, the town of South Lake Tahoe, California hit a high of 91 F, beating the previous record of 89 F set in 2017.

And for the first time on record in 1888, Reno reached 105 F for the third day in a row. Later on Monday, the city set a record high of 106 F, surpassing the previous mark of 104 F set in 2017.

People flocked to beaches around Lake Tahoe on Monday, especially Sand Harbor State Park, where Sunday’s record high of 92 F broke the old record of 88 F set in 2014. For the fifth day in a row, Sand Harbor closed its doors under 90. Minutes to opening at 8am as it had reached capacity.

“It’s definitely warmer than what we’re used to,” Nevada State Parks spokesman Tyler Carver said.

Rush reported from Portland, Oregon, and Snow reported from Phoenix. journalists Christopher Weber and John Antzak in Los Angeles; Jenny Harr in San Francisco; and Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada contributed to this report.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without text editing.

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