Motorcyclist on ‘Death Valley ride’ dies in extreme heat wave

Visitors walks amid the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park, near Furnace Creek, during a heatwave impacting Southern California on July 7, 2024. Temperatures in Death Valley could reach as high as 130 degrees Farenheit (54 degrees Celsius) on Sunday, according to US National Weather Service. (Photo by ETIENNE LAURENT / AFP) (Photo by ETIENNE LAURENT/AFP via Getty Images)

Visitors walks amid the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park, near Furnace Creek
(Picture: AFP)

A motorcyclist at Death Valley National Park died from heat exposure as the temperature reached 53.3C in eastern California.

Another rider was hospitalised after rising as part of a group of six motorcyclists through the Badwater Basin area amid scorching weather, the park said in a statement.

The other four members of the party were treated at the scene.

‘High heat like this can pose real threats to your health,’ said park Superintendent Mike Reynolds.

The death comes as a long-running heat wave has shattered temperature records across the U.S.

An excessive heat warning which is the National Weather Service’s highest alert, was in effect for about 36 million people, said NWS meteorologist Bryan Jackson.

But Chris Kinsel, a visitor who said it was ‘like Christmas day for me’ to be at Death Valley on a record-breaking day.

The Death Valley National Park sign is displayed in Death Valley National (Picture: Gabe Ginsberg/SOPA Images/Shutter)

A heat warning sign is displayed at Zabriskie Point (Picture: Gabe Ginsberg/SOPA Images/Shutter)

‘Death Valley during the summer has always been a bucket list thing for me. For most of my life, I’ve wanted to come out here in summertime,’ said Kinsel, who was visiting Death Valley’s Badwater Basin area from Las Vegas.

Kinsel said he planned to go to the park’s visitor center to have his photo taken next to the digital sign displaying the current temperature.

Across the desert in Nevada, Natasha Ivory took four of her eight children to a water park in Mount Charleston, outside Las Vegas, which on Sunday set a record high of 119 F (48.3 C).

‘They’re having a ball,’ Ivory told Fox5 Vegas said. ‘I’m going to get wet too. It’s too hot not to.’

Jill Workman Anderson also was at Mount Charleston, taking her dog for a short hike and enjoying the view.

A heat warning sign is displayed as people take photos on the salt flats at Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park (Picture: Gabe Ginsberg/SOPA Images/Shutte)

‘We can look out and see the desert,’ she said. ‘It was also 30 degrees cooler than northwest Las Vegas, where we live.’

More extreme highs are in the near forecast, including possibly 54.4 C around midweek.

The hottest temperature ever officially recorded on Earth was 134 F (56.67 C) in July 1913 in Death Valley.

Tracy Housley, a native of Manchester, England, said she decided to drive from her hotel in Las Vegas to Death Valley after hearing on the radio that temperatures could approach record levels.

A visitor poses in front of a thermometer reading ‘132F, 55C’ (Picture: AFP)

‘We just thought, let’s be there for that,’ Housley said Sunday. ‘Let’s go for the experience.’

Wildfires have spread across the state, with crews working in sweltering conditions to battle a series of wildfires across the state.

In Santa Barbara County, northwest of Los Angeles, the growing Lake Fire had scorched more than 25 square miles of dry grass, brush and timber after breaking out Friday.

There was no containment by Sunday. The blaze was burning through mostly uninhabited wildland, but some rural homes were under evacuation orders.

Festival revelers meet the heat with cold water …read more

Source:: Metro


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