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Heat wave continues in some Southwestern states

| Monday, July 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

LAS VEGAS — High temperatures brought discomfort to much of the Southwest on Sunday as many parts of the region were coming off several record-breaking heat days and bracing for more sizzling temperatures.

Triple-digit heat struck again in the valleys and desert regions of Southern California, while metropolitan Phoenix saw just a slight drop in temperatures after experiencing record-breaking heat Saturday.

Six half-marathon runners in Southern California were hospitalized for heat-related illnesses. A day earlier, paramedics responding to a Nevada home without air conditioning found an elderly man dead.

Runners in the Southern California race who required medical attention were extremely dehydrated, and some experienced cramps, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said. Several other runners were evaluated along the route but weren't taken to the hospital, she said.

Paramedics were deployed along the 13.1-mile race, and buses with air conditioning were provided for runners to cool off. The event was supposed to be a marathon, but it was downgraded due to low turnout last year.

Hikers, bikers and dog walkers were scarce on typically busy trails in the Santa Monica Mountains above Los Angeles. At midday, two women and a panting German shepherd huddled in a rare sliver of shade along a fire road before striking out in the hot sun.

Atop San Vicente Peak, cyclist Jeff Disbrow, 49, of Santa Monica was clad in black and lathered in sweat as he took a break and refilled his water bottle.

“It's not the best day to be out here — unless you want to suffer,” he said. “It's like Arizona.”

In Utah, a record 105-degree heat caused an interstate on-ramp to buckle in Salt Lake City, and hampered firefighters in their battle against three wildfires. The Interstate 215 on-ramp had to be closed for four hours Saturday night after a short section of it expanded, Utah Department of Transportation spokesman John Gleason said.

The section looked like a pothole before it was repaved, he said. No problems were reported, and traffic was rerouted around the closed lane.

Phoenix Fire Department spokesman Larry Nunez said the city hasn't seen any deaths that were classified as heat-related, but emergency workers have gotten 98 heat-related calls within the metro area since Friday morning.

The 119-degree high in Phoenix on Saturday marked the fourth-hottest day in metro Phoenix since authorities started keeping temperature records more than 110 years ago. The high temperature for the metro area hit 115 on Sunday.

Temperatures could drop slightly in Phoenix within the coming days as monsoon storms are expected to make their way through the state. Such storms could bring cloud cover but could produce more humidity and possibly contribute to dust storms.

Several Southern California communities set same-day record highs Saturday including Palm Springs, where the mercury peaked at 122 degrees.

Death Valley, the hottest place on the planet, reached 127 degrees Saturday. It was forecast to be 1 degree hotter Sunday. As sweltering as it will be, it's still shy of the record high of 134 degrees, set nearly a century ago on July 10, 1913.

In Las Vegas, temperatures were on the rise again after the city reported a record overnight low of 89 degrees Sunday.

With the temperature at 111 degrees early Sunday afternoon, National Weather Service forecaster Dan Berc said Las Vegas could also break its record high of 117 degrees set in 2005 and 1942. Forecasters are calling for the high to reach 116 degrees.

On Saturday, a man died and another was hospitalized in serious condition in Las Vegas heat-aggravated incidents as the temperature soared to 115 degrees.

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