In the wake of one death, and with continued unrelenting heat in the forecast, Lake Mead National Recreation Area officials are cautioning visitors to take it easy during their visit to the NRA.
A Boy Scout leader died from suspected heat stroke after he and five others became lost Saturday in the park's White Rock Canyon area with temperatures reaching 110 degrees. The four others were recovering. But with high temperatures expected to reach triple digits daily over the coming week, NRA officials were warning visitors to take it easy.
“These extreme temps could lead to heat-related injuries if precautions are not taken. We discourage people from hiking or participating in other strenuous outdoor activities at Lake Mead National Recreation Area while the warning is in place,” said Christie Vanover, park spokeswoman.
Though the centerpiece of the NRA that touches parts of Nevada and Arizona is Lake Mead, the dryland landscape is within the Mojave Desert and can get brutally, even fatally, hot.
The Boy Scouts ran into troubles Saturday afternoon. When searchers found them, Clawson Bowman Jr., a 69-year-old Las Vegas male was found dead, the park reported. The other adult male and four boys were rescued with heat-related illness.
Rangers made contact with Mr. Bowman at 3:21 p.m. about one mile from the trailhead. The Mohave County Medical Examiner was expected to determine the cause of death. The second adult male was located in the area at 3:42 p.m. He was provided advanced life support care until he was rescued by air at 5:54 p.m., the park reported.
All four Boy Scouts were safely transported from the area by Metro Air by 5:31 p.m. They were treated by paramedics at the trailhead.
With daily high temperatures to remain above 100 degrees throughout the week, the park was cautioning visitors to watch family and friends for symptoms of heat stress. Those symptoms include hot, dry skin or profuse sweating, chills, throbbing headaches, dizziness, extreme weakness or muscle cramps.
“If you, or someone you’re with, begins to feel tired and flushed and begins to sweat excessively, you may be suffering from heat exhaustion,” said Ms. Vanover. “Stop any strenuous activities immediately, drink water and find a cool place to rest.”
If someone becomes disoriented, stops sweating, has hot dry skin, or even worse, passes out, that person is probably experiencing heat stroke, which is a serious medical condition, the park warned in a release.
“If someone experiences these symptoms, call 911 immediately,” said the park spokeswoman.
People exposed to extreme heat should avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages because they increase stress on the body and accelerate dehydration.
“If you’re coming out to enjoy Lake Mead or Lake Mohave this week, use a buddy system, monitor the condition of your friends and have someone do the same for you,” said Ms. Vanover. “Bring plenty of water and don’t forget to provide water and shade for your pets.”