Two men died over the weekend in separate incidents believed to be heat-related, according to Las Vegas Fire Department and the National Park Service.
Sunday night, a man was found dead in a ridge near Nelson Road in Searchlight after a visitor reported him wandering in the desert earlier in the day, park service spokeswoman Christie Vanover said.
And an elderly man without air conditioning in his house went into cardiac arrest Saturday and died, fire official Tim Szymanski said.
Their causes of death and identities will be released by the Clark County coroner’s office.
The weekend temperatures of 117 were some of the highest ever in Las Vegas, tying the record set in 2005.
Temperatures are slowly dropping, but they are projected to stay above 105 degrees through the rest of the week, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Christ Stachelski.
Monday’s temperatures were expected to peak at 116 degrees and tie for another 2005 record of most consecutive days of 115 degree weather or higher, but unexpected cloud coverage caused temperatures to reach only 114 degrees at McCarran International Airport, the weather services monitoring site.
The extreme weather caused a spike in heat-related incidents over the weekend, Szymanski said. From Friday to Monday evening, the department reported 177 heat incidents including 54 individuals taken to the hospital.
“It shows we had a spike of people,” Szymanski said. “There’s probably more than that, but it serves as a barometer of what’s going on.”
Vanover said five additional people were treated for heat-related symptoms at Lake Mead over the weekend.
An 18-year-old Las Vegas man nearly drowned at Lake Mead after swimming from shore to an island without a life jacket. He was retrieved from the water by two individuals and taken to a local hospital.
This coming week, it will start to cool down by one to two degrees daily, but it will remain humid because of cloud cover and scattered showers in higher elevations, Stachelski said.
“It’s pretty much going to continue to stay hot,” Stachelski said.
The West Flamingo DMV office in Las Vegas closed early Monday afternoon because of air conditioning failure, according to its website. Individuals were asked to visit other locations or return later in the week.
In addition to the heat, two fires sparked from a lightning storm Saturday afternoon continue to burn on Mount Charleston, the Bureau of Land Management said.
Lightning struck around 3 p.m. and ignited two fires along the rolling hills and ridges on the inside edge of the La Madre Mountain Wilderness, about 20 miles north of Las Vegas.
According to the bureau, one fire was contained to 11.5 acres with one engine on scene and was expected to be controlled by Monday evening. The second fire was at 10.5 acres with containment expected by Tuesday. Three hand crews, one helicopter and one fire engine were on scene at the second fire.
An excessive heat watch was placed in effect until Thursday. Temperatures are forecast for 114 degrees Tuesday and 113 degrees Wednesday and Thursday.
Fire officials remind residents that the dangers of lighting illegal fireworks increases with hotter temperatures.
“A Fourth of July celebration can quickly turn into tragedy with careless use of fireworks,” Henderson Fire Chief Steve Goble said. “With all the hot dry weather we have, a spark can quickly turn into a fire.”
Las Vegas Review-Journal writer Rochel Leah Goldblatt contributed to this report. Contact reporter Caitlyn Belcher at email@example.com or 702-383-0264.